Stephanie J. Frostad: The Evocative Moment
February 28 - June 15, 2019 | Paxson Gallery
Through works spanning the artist’s career, this exhibition surveys Frostad’s creative concern with myths and metaphors brought to life as pictorial realism. The storytelling tradition is vital to her mission: to create a truly democratic art. “As a narrative painter,” she states, “my objective is to present the essential elements of a story […]” In striving toward this aim, she builds pictures that are sometimes joyful, sometimes mysterious, uncanny, even dark.
In the most arresting works, the viewer is struck with a prevailing sense that a pivotal event is looming, or has just taken place. By her own description, this is no accident: “With careful measures of clarity and ambiguity, I hope to create imaginative space for viewers to bring their own perspectives and experiences into the tale.”
In her most recent compositions, Frostad returns to drawing, using graphite to delineate form while imbuing her work with an enigmatic aura. This quality lends her stories a seemingly supernatural, yet universal quality, a morality perhaps most closely identified with fables. Indeed, her fascination with traditions and myths is befitting her long-standing inquiry into identity, relationships, community, and place. As she explains, “I explore these with equal interest in the actual and the metaphorical, striving always to combine convincing naturalism with provocative symbolism.” Ultimately, Frostad is fulfilled by the response her pictures bring about in her viewers, as they respond with their own stories.