Nate Frizzell's most recent body of work, "Spectrum", colorfully lights up LeBasse Projects. As usual, he opts to paint with a limited palette to examine himself as an artistic figure through the emotive power of color. Throughout his work, he emphasizes a single color while he still discretely incorporates the rest of his palette. Like a mood ring, his work uses color to define feelings; each painting or color unravels a story that evokes feelings connected to the tones represented. The simplicity of this exhibition suggests the fluid harmony of a spectrum.
The titles of Frizzell’s paintings, correspond to the color most prominently depicted. Rich pigments create tranquil yet dismal settings, bringing attention to the desolate characters that inhabit these quiet surroundings. It's as though color has been personified and, through these chromatic figures, we see emotions Frizzell intended for the respective color shown.
Phthalo, Viridian, Yellow, Ultramarine are only few of the colors/paintings that constitute Frizzell's "Spectrum". In Phthalo, a woman stares off into the horizon as a frenzied flock of birds hovers above her. The strands of her dark hair lead us to various thin cuts that cascade down her arm. Its gloomy, dark blue pigment elicits feelings of discomfort and melancholy.
As in most of his previous work, Frizzell plays with the mask motif. In 'Viridian' and 'Titanium', rather than wearing them, his characters appear to have rid themselves of these, (exposing their troubled expressions and referencing to the artist's own susceptible path to self-discovery). In Yellow, Frizzell captures the intrigue of a light bulb that shatters in the hands of a young woman but whose spark of light continues to beam across her face. Depicting a scene of massive letdown, Ultramarine becomes literal when it describes a sea with an apathetically lonely woman adrift in a sinking boat.
“Spectrum” will be on display at LeBasse Projects until February 2nd.
Words and images by Jessica Portillo