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Katherine Fraser: All Fun and Games

Posted on March 11 2023

Katherine Fraser, What Time Reveals, 2023. Oil on canvas, 38 x 52 in.
Katherine Fraser: All Fun and Games
May 5 - May 28, 2023

Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present All Fun and Games, a solo exhibition of new oil paintings by Katherine Fraser. All Fun and Games marks a more colorful, expressive turn for the painter, with highly saturated works that draw inspiration from discarded party supplies and other celebratory detritus. The result is a collection of portraits and still lifes that feel, in turn, playful and somber. The show includes large-scale paintings accompanied by smaller works depicting disco balls, cats, and balloon animals. All Fun and Games will be on view at Paradigm Gallery from May 5 – 28, 2023.

Fraser portrays the quiet moments after a party, once the revelry has died down and you’re left with only yourself. Confetti, piñatas, glitter, streamers, and party hats are recurrent motifs across the body of work. In one piece, a forlorn woman sadly models an elaborate balloon animal hat; In another, a sequin backdrop frames a woman wearing only her underwear, stockings, and a paper party hat. The characters in her paintings are inspired by a compilation of magazine photos, the artist herself, and her imagination. She hopes in this way that people can find some part of themselves and their experiences in her paintings. The work also incorporates cats throughout — jumping through the air or playing with the party flotsam (balloons, ribbons, a pair of abandoned high heels).

All Fun and Games showcases lighthearted and whimsical imagery that can be enjoyed on an aesthetic and technical level, while inquisitive viewers can choose to delve into the deeper consumerist critique behind the work. Fraser began work on this series following the pandemic lockdown, when restrictions were lifted and the moral lessons learned from this introspective period of isolation were quickly forgotten. The Results Are In, for example, depicts a person sitting solemnly in front of a “CONGRATS” balloon; the painting was inspired by the failed gender reveal party that sparked the El Dorado forest fire in 2020.

Having worked briefly for a catering company in her past, Fraser was disquieted by the excesses and superficiality of society, particularly in social settings, such as parties and weddings. The temporary trappings of celebration or success, symbolized by cheap, disposable party decorations, are a metaphor for the emptiness of our culture. From the waste and insignificance left behind, she picks through the wreckage to create art that goes beneath the surface, as if she were one of the cats depicted in Abundance Mentality, making do with the shallow remains.

Friday, May 5, 2023
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Dinner and Private Artist Tour
Thursday, July 27, 2023
6:00 - 10:00 PM

Thursdays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Fridays • 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturdays • 11 AM – 6 PM
Sundays • 11 AM – 5 PM
And 7 days a week by appointment.

12 N 3rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Media Contact:
Lainya Magaña, A&O PR
347 395 4155

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About Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser’s paintings depict moments of quiet reflection and insight, of wonder, vulnerability, yearning, determination, humility, strength, and growth. She sees a duality in every moment, and beauty in the tension of opposing emotions existing in a single facial expression. As every person, and every experience is multifaceted, every painting is meant to express a dimensional idea. She is fascinated by the mutability of memory, by the way emotions can shape perception, and the way we unconsciously create narratives to understand our experience and explain our identities.

Fraser paints out of her sincere desire to respect, express, and share the tender qualities that unite us. Compassionately and with a generous heart, she seeks to portray our continual need to reckon expectations with truth, and the struggles we endure to feel satisfaction with our choices. Her goal is not just to make aesthetically beautiful paintings, but to create works that touch and resonate with the complexity of real world experience.

Fraser has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and of the University of Pennsylvania. As a student she received the Thomas Eakins Painting prize, the Cecelia Beaux Portrait prize, and the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Travel Award, among others. Since graduating in 2002, she has received awards including the Lucy Glick Award and the Victor Klein Family Award. Her work has been published in Studio Visit Magazine, Philadelphia Weekly, Die Blumen die Frauen, The Fertile Source, New American Paintings, The Southern Review, the Best of American Oil Painting, and more. Her work may be found in many permanent and private collections nationally and abroad.

About Paradigm Gallery
Paradigm Gallery + Studio® was established in 2010 by co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. The gallery exhibits meaningful, process-intense contemporary artwork from around the world. Paradigm Gallery is globally recognized and known as a tastemaker within the greater Philadelphia arts community. As the gallery grows, it maintains its original mission to keep art accessible, and continues to be a champion of small businesses and emerging and mid-career artists.

Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser
Katherine Fraser