Guests perused the work of a distinguished artist’s first solo exhibition during her opening reception Friday evening in the Blaffer Art Museum.
The exhibition, “The Fourth Dimension was Ha-Ha, in Other Words, That it is Laughter,” is a display of whimsy and ephemeral lightness by painter Pamela Fraser.
Fraser’s work is inspired by past artists, color theorists and linguistic anthropologists. One of her iconic works, “In Support of the Ninth Dimension,” a large circle with varying colors that dissolve into empty space, draws inspiration from 19th century color diagrams.
Though Fraser described her work as pulling from historical references in art and literature, she was also interested in how her art reacts to and reflects American pop culture.
“There’s something about pop music in particular that appeals to me because it’s ephemeral. Its pleasure is limited; next year you’ll hate it,” Fraser said. “I think that if my paintings could produce that sort of pleasure, even if it’s temporary, that’s what I would want.”
Her style resembles constructivist art as she works with basic shapes and forms, creating a simple, freeing experience and allowing the audience to focus on her major concerns that are color and composition.
Computer science graduate student Tejas Shah said he admired the Blaffer’s new solo exhibition.
“I think she deals with very simple figures, but the most amazing part of that is that she is using different colors,” Shah said. “It’s actually good.”
Though there was much praise for Fraser’s work, her contemporary art was not appealing to all.
Local art enthusiast with ties to Blaffer, Sherri Rogers, was unsure about the paintings.
“It makes me feel really inadequate. I feel like I’m supposed to be getting more out of it,” Rogers said. “I do like the playfulness though.”
Fraser distilled complex ideas from humanity and visual arts into pristine, playful and anti-heroic paintings that seem shallow and deep, spontaneous and controlled and conventional and bold.
The exhibition is on display in the Blaffer Art Museum through July 27.