Katabasis

Frank Webster

December 4, 2020 – January 22, 2021

Frank Webster: Katabasis, December 4, 2020 - January 22, 2021 in the Dové Gallery

Book your free appointment HERE. Opening night will go from 4-7pm on Friday, December 4.

Artwork is available for purchase online HERE, as well as a special limited edition artist book, hand-stitched and made in England by Folio Atelier.

In this Icelandic series by Queens-based artist Frank Webster is a reflection on silence and solitude, the power of nature, and a collective descent into a figurative underworld. Following his last visit to Iceland, Webster began working with the imagery during the April 2020 quarantine, when Queens was the epicenter of the current global pandemic. Webster describes his seclusion in his studio as paralleling the remoteness he experienced when walking in nature, and he strove to capture that psychological topography within each watercolor’s exploration.

Webster currently works in an industrial space in Queens, New York, after attending several residencies in remote locations in the United States and abroad, resulting in a series of large-scale paintings reflecting those environs. Regardless of the geographic location explored, Webster persistently investigates the subjectivity of perception by illuminating often-overlooked details and cohesion in the natural world. Webster’s work—which ranges from small, ethereal watercolors to 10-foot wide panoramic paintings—depicts both the nuanced allure of the natural world and humanity’s interdependent relationship to it. His formal exploration of this tenuous harmony in our ecosystem is apparent in all of his work. A strong concern for contemporary environmental issues permeates Webster’s most recent work on the ethereal landscape of northwest Iceland. The juxtaposition of his immediate, urban surroundings and the expansive natural world depicted provides an immersive experience for viewers and a longing for the solace of wilderness. Although at first glance these paintings hark back to the tradition of the sublime and of grand-tour travel paintings, on further examination they reveal a wistfulness for things passing, permeated with a sense of urgency that is symbolic of our current period of rapid climate change.

In partnership with Charlottesville-based company Apex Clean Energy, visitors will be encouraged to write down their thoughts and reflect on their relationship to the land and climate in response to interactive prompts.

Exhibition Sponsors

DeWitt Stern Fine Art