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Humanity and nature with Kathryn Frund

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The dialog between nature, humanity and science is more important than it has ever been. Those determined to tackle the issues are faced with an ever-changing nebulous subject, one that is as impudent as it is seductive. April at the Chase Young Gallery, Boston presents us with an artist who takes up the challenge.

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‘I focus on the themes of stewardship and damage, fluidity and control’ says Kathryn Frund, a Connecticut artist. Her works are heavily process based, largely comprising of mixed media on panels. On her methods and choice of medium, she says ‘I begin with an initial idea, the process of applying paint and reconfiguring collage material, as well as the gifts in accidents, help inform the final piece’. Such a practice provides both succinct composition and instinctual mark making.

She admits to seeking a visual ‘pivot’, the success of which she measures in ‘restoration and balance’. These qualities are exemplified in her 2014 piece ‘Intuitive Dance’, wherein the regularity of warm off-yellow ocher is challenged by a much cooler core. She explains that her work seeks to ‘open pathways’, as demonstrated in the whirl of paint offset by a steady geometry of collage.

‘I focus on the themes of stewardship and damage, fluidity and control’ Frund says, a fact perhaps best performed by the diptych ‘piecedupiecedown I, II’. The confidence of Frund’s brushwork bespeaks an artist who trusts herself, and in so doing gently gains the viewers confidence.

Frund's work recalls art from all corners of art history. Some of her pieces have the feel of a Constable in its sense of space and quiet landscapes, but most unlike his work in its undeniable modernity. The decisiveness of her pallet in ‘Dispersal’ is reminiscent of Rothko, her use of text in ‘Small Schema’ recalls Picasso’s collages, and ‘Genealogy’ mirrors the energy of Turner’s ‘The Slave Ship’. Frund’s ability to employ such a diversity of tactics speaks to her place in the history of art, one that celebrates the age of information and innovation. It is best summed up by Frund herself, with her statement that ‘Ultimately, the work is a material and spiritual exploration into the nature of our presence in the landscape.’

Kathryn Frund’s work will be on show at the Chase Young Gallery in Boston (450 Harrison Ave) until the 27th of April. They may be contacted at 617-859-7222.

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