Neil Frazer: Stretched to the Limit

This exhibition is now closed


Stretched to the Limit marks the welcome return of Neil Frazer's bold Abstract Expressionist paintings to the McDougall Art Annex. His work was previously displayed at the gallery as part of the Here and Now: Twelve Young Canterbury Artists exhibition in 1988. Frazer was born in Canberra, Australia but grew up in New Zealand graduating bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 1985. In 1992, he was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at Otago University, and recently returned from Australia where he was Artist-in- Residence at the Victoria College of Arts in Melbourne.

It has been said that Abstract Expressionism is less a style than an attitude. Such a perspective accommodates the variation in approach that may be found in the work of practitioners of this 'style', while also focusing on its essence; the artist's intensely introspective and subjective identification with the materials of the medium and the process.

For Neil Frazer, process is everything. His paintings are an experience and centre on the action of painting itself, rather than on theory and ideas. This exhibition will seek to involve the viewer in the creative experience and to communicate the artist's emphasis on process. It will achieve this by using a small number of Frazer's very large paintings. Their scale makes exhibition of these works rare and it is rarer still to put several together at once.

For Stretched to the Limit the walls of the Annex will be transformed into solid fields of seething, glistening colour, enveloping the viewer in tactile sensation. Visitors will be surrounded by, and invited to walk through, electrifying expanses of paint; inspiring the intuitive and emotional response to colour and texture for which Abstract Expressionism is renowned.

('Neli Frazer: Stretched to the Limit', Bulletin, No.101, April/May 1996, p.3)