From Andrew Frost…
In Neil Frazer’s paintings it’s all about the paint. Every artist who puts brush to canvas is dealing with the paint they use to make the picture but, outside the realms of abstraction where paint becomes a thing in itself, a lot of contemporary painting pulls back on the texture for a politely effaced surface and mild-mannered figuration. But Frazer goes all out; in Breaker, his latest show at Martin Browne, all of the artist’s hallmarks are present – large-scale canvases featuring moody seascapes with paint so heavy it feels as if a block of pigment had been carved to reveal the craggy coastlines within.
Frazer’s visual style is showy but his big statement is an absence. White spaces are created by the absence of paint with edges that look to be have been sliced with a razor-sharp scalpel. This technique produces dynamic lines and spectacular contrasts. It’s the kind of technique that could grow old quickly, but in Frazer’s hands, the works have a freshness and vibrancy that appeals to those who like their sublime seascapes with a smart contemporary edge. With more than 30 paintings and studies in the show Frazer hasn’t held back, exploring mirrored images with duplicate skies and seas, jutting obelisks of rock and crashing waves. Of course it’s all paint, but we already knew that.
November 15 to December 9
Martin Browne Contemporary, Paddington.
Pic: Neil Frazer, Wave Length II, 2012?Acrylic on canvas ?200 x 300 cm. Courtesy the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.