Jean Alexander Frater

Region: Midwest


City / State: Chicago, IL

I experiment with the medium of painting—reconstructing the distinct roles that paint, raw canvas, and rectilinear support play in art-making. The paintings are concrete and abstract. I work in collaboration with the material, asking it to have a voice in the outcome—to reveal itself. I create circumstances that allow the materials to resist, or comply with, various manipulations. There is a consistent tone of self-referentiality, which allows the work to sidestep heavy intention and preference the cycle of action/ observation/discovery that happens in the studio.

Gravity propels the black paint down the canvas, and the painted surface directs or changes the quality of the black line. Canvas is stretched, bent, torn, or folded around a frame. The object both responds to this physical manipulation, and is changed by the image it carries on its surface. The idea of background and foreground is shifted away from the surface and onto the material itself.