Blackston is pleased to present In the Landscape of Extinction…, an exhibition of recent large-scale acrylic on canvas paintings and watercolor and pencil studies by Frank Webster.
Webster’s paintings and drawings of landscapes featuring abstracted architectural structures and natural elements found in urban settings further his exploration of the rough and sober beauty of the modern experience.
The artist’s paintings examine the interconnection of natural and synthetic in the urban context. In the overlap of ‘green’ and ‘gray’ perspectives, he envisions an ephemeral model of constant evolution: one that is brutal and unsentimental, yet simultaneously poetic and delicate.
Webster’s work, neither reactionary nor pessimistic, is resolutely modern. It embraces the sublime in the ordinary and accentuates a sense of grace in the process of decay.
These recent works emphasize a precise, post-expressionist style reminiscent of the New Objectivity movement. Webster’s approach can be described as tonalist-precisionist, with an emphasis on kitchen sink realism.
Webster’s paintings present a depth and subtle graduation of color through the use of glazing techniques wherein thin coats of transparent paint and varnish are slowly layered to achieve a chromatic richness. His palette exploits cool grays with an emphasis on contour and silhouette. The paintings are not monochromatic, but the matte colors are substantially de-saturated. The canvases appear similar to oil paintings in both depth and color and counteract the flatness usually associated with acrylic painting. The overall effect of these compositions is meditative, quiet and sustained.
Webster lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Webster received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from Mason Gross, Rutgers University. He also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Webster is the recipient of numerous awards including the Pollock Krasner and the Golden Foundation Individual Artist Award, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program (2008-09) and the P.S. 122, Studio Residency (2006-07 and 2009-2010). Webster’s paintings have been previously exhibited in two solo exhibitions at Bespoke Gallery, and in numerous group exhibitions including, most recently, City without Walls, Intersections, Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ (2009), Environ, Rymer Gallery, Nashville, TN (2008) and This Modern World, General Electric World Headquarters, Fairfield, CT (2008). Additional select group exhibitions in New York City include those at PS122 Gallery (Painting Space 122, Project Studio Artists), Grolier Club, Sara Meltzer Gallery, John Connelly Presents, D’Amelia Terras, Deitch Projects, Lombard Freid Fine Arts and White Columns Gallery.