Telfair Museums opens A Native Son. Paintings by West Fraser

Telfair Museums presents A Native Son. Paintings by West Fraser, an exhibition on view, February 24 – May 5, 2012.

West Fraser (American, b. 1955); Savannah Rooftops, 1992; Savannah, Georgia; Oil on linen, 21 x 39 inches; Collection of Tony and Garan Morris, Marietta, GA

Despite coming of age at a time when modernism and abstraction had achieved a firm hold on the prevailing modes of art instruction throughout the country, West Fraser has remained a traditionalist, earning a place among the region’s leading practitioners of traditional realism. Fraser was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1955 and has spent most of the past three decades methodically chronicling lives and landscapes in the South Carolina Low Country and coastal Georgia. He is particularly well known for his luminous landscapes (many of which are painted en plein air) and engaging city scenes.

A Native Son: Paintings by West Fraser is the artist’s first solo exhibition at Telfair Museums; it considers the landscapes, marine views, and city scenes for which Fraser is best known, as well as travel paintings created around the world and figure-based compositions depicting family, friends, and the artist himself. The exhibition demonstrates the evolution of Fraser’s technique, beginning with his large-scale watercolors of the 1980s, which were painted from photographs in the artist’s studio. In the 1990s, his desire to begin painting directly from nature forced him to seek out a more flexible and adaptable medium, resulting in his switch from watercolor to oil. Today, Fraser continues to work in oil, and alternates between plein air painting and studio work (sometimes combining the two).

Fraser’s paintings have been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows at museums and galleries throughout the country, and his work is held in the permanent collection of Telfair Museums as well as Morris Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum of Art, Greenville County Museum of Art, California’s Laguna Art Museum, and many prominent private and corporate collections. –

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