June 1 – August 10, 2013
The Fourth Dimension was Ha-Ha, in Other Words, That it is Laughter draws its title from the 1966 Robert Smithson essay “Entropy and the New Monuments,” wherein Smithson defines laughter by conflating specific architectural concepts, literary references and the new crystalline, geometric sculpture with which he aligned himself (the “ha-ha-crystal”). Pamela Fraser is interested in similar speculative moments where the deliberate might inspire the spontaneous. Aiming to embody such optimism as a proactive philosophical mode, she seeks to assert levity in painting through delicate abstractions that marry simple forms with complex color schemes.
This exhibition, Fraser’s first solo museum show, introduces a selection of large and small-scale paintings, drawings, and “cut-outs.” Specific geometric shapes and their variations, spatial arrangements, and experimentations with scale trace her explorations through color as a fluid, ineffable topic and experience – the proposed, implied, and often inconsistent logic within color systems, expectations of color relationships, and aesthetic decisions as value choices. Through these works, she challenges the viewer’s inherent desire for narrative and considers color as it relates to natural and man-made elements, design theory, and the culturally-specific meanings of logos, branding, pie charts, diagrams.
Pamela Fraser was born 1965 in Smyrna, TN. She received her BFA in Painting with honors from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1988 and her MFA in New Genres, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1992. Solo shows include: Gahlberg Gallery, MacAnich Center for the Arts, College of Dupage, Glen Ellyn, IL (2011); Golden, Chicago; Galerie Schmidt Maczollek, Cologne; and 1K Projectspace, Amsterdam (2010); Casey Kaplan, New York (2007); and Galerie Schmidt Maczollek, Cologne (2005). Recent group shows include: Pairings: Pamela Fraser, David Wilson, Downtown Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Power to the People, Feature, New York, Don’t Piss on Me and Tell Me it’s Raining, Apex Art, New York, Nostalgia,” Averill & Bernard Leviton A + D Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, and New Icon, Loyola University Museum of the Arts, Chicago.
The exhibition is organized by Nancy Zastudil. Zastudil is an itinerant curator and writer. She is co-founder/co-director of PLAND, administrative director for the Frederick Hammersley Foundation, co-administer of The Lightning Field, and monthly contributor to Art + Culture Magazine Houston. In 2012 she was Taos coordinator for ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness and from 2007-2010 she was the associate director of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts.
Pamela Fraser: The Fourth Dimension was Ha-Ha, in Other Words, That it is Laughter is made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs and the Houston Endowment, Inc. Additional funding comes from Jereann Chaney, Heidi and David Gerger, and Janis and Bill Hopson. Partial operating support is provided by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum, The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, Karen Pulaski and Gabriella Trzebinski. KUHF-FM and Saint Arnold Brewing Company provide in-kind support. Educational outreach programs are made possible by Dorothy C. Sumner, the Kristin Saleri Art Foundation, Quantum Reservoir Impact, and the Kinder Morgan Foundation.