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  • Writer's pictureDavid Eichholtz

Press Release - Nate Ethier Optics

Nate Ethier, 1977, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 65 x 65”

Dims are 46 x 46 “ on the square



June 27 - July 20, 2023

Opening reception:

Thursday, July 6 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM

Chelsea, New York at 526 W 26 ST, Suite 209

Nate Ethier’s paintings are comprised of shapes on top of shapes in all over canvas-filling compositions that pulse and vibrate through his skillful use of patterns and color. Ethier uses high key colors and leverages color adjacency and simultaneous contrast that keep the layers of patterns distinct from one another. However, through the specific color selections and interactions the layers of shapes and patterns either recede or come forward just as certain shapes emerge as a focal point while others fade to the background. The resulting process yields highly optical, almost psychedelic compositions that immerse the viewer in color and layers of visual content.

The grounds in Ethier’s works are generally rooted in geometric patterns utilizing shapes ranging from rectilinear and curvilinear to circular that are not always obvious upon first glance. These patterns operate in two ways. First, they provide an organizing structure that becomes the foundation of the compositions. Second, the repetition of the shapes and resulting patterns creates a rhythm and flow with movement of swirls or waves across the canvas which simultaneously activate the viewer’s eyes and thus, makes the mind more susceptible to the power of suggestion through color and other layered patterns. Julian Stanczak, one of the most celebrated color and optical artists from the 1960s referred to this phenomenon of repeating shapes and structures as “activation elements”.

This Pop-up presentation features 9 recent paintings from 2019 through 2023 to introduce Ethier’s various series as a prelude for his upcoming solo exhibition of all new paintings with the Gallery in 2024.

Artist Statement:

Drawing on traditions of formal and pop abstraction, Nate Ethier’s flamboyant geometric abstractions celebrate both the bucolic and the post-industrial world. The exchange of interchangeable modular structures through synchronicity and symmetry is the bedrock of the work, while rock and roll, the rolling surf, and poetry whisper in the background. Creating compositions that allow for the optical emphasis to alternate and reverberate with unequivocal intensity and grace, the mechanics of Ethier’s paintings function as perpetual, philosophical, and visual motion machines.

About Nate Ethier:

Nate Ethier’s work has been exhibited at Auxier/Kline, NY; Danese/Corey, NY; LMAKgallery, NY; Minus Space, NY; Geoffery Young Gallery, MA; Nancy Margois Gallery, NY; The Boiler/Pierogi Gallery, NY; Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY; and at institutes such as the Susquehanna Art Museum, PA; Boston University, MA; Georgia Southern Univeristy, GA. He is a recipient of a Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Award and was a nominee for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant. His work has been reviewed in such publications as the Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, the Boston Globe, and the Providence Journal. Ethier is originally from Providence, Rhode Island, and currently lives and works in New York City.

About David Richard Gallery:

In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.

Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field—in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.

All Artwork

Copyright © Nate Ethier

All Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

All Photographs by Yao Zu Lu

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