Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fredrick Nelson Paintings

We recently acquired two large oil paintings by the St. Louis artist Fredrick Nelson. Both pieces were created during the late 1970's, and evoke more somber color schemes than his recent painting and pastel works with decidedly brighter color palettes. Nelson is well-known as a colorist, though also for his mark-making and attention to form and texture. The pieces came from Genell Miller's private collection, now hanging amongst the mid-century furniture and decor in our shop, and feel completely at home.

Image of the first (of two) piece we recently acquired, oil on canvas, 1979.

Fredrick Nelson studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute, and in 1975 received an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. His exhibition record is significant, having held solo exhibitions continuously since the 1970's, with inclusion in a number of public and private collections. Some notable exhibitions, both solo and group, have been held at The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Atrium Gallery, the University of Taipei, and the Nelson Atkins Museums of Art. Frederick Nelson is currently represented by Atrium Gallery in St. Louis.

You'll notice in both of the early pieces we acquired, Nelson was (and is!) very much concerned with surface. Within them we find traces of the artist's process: the paint is scratched, carved, and carefully chipped away, while in other places the canvas is coated in heavy layers of paint. Other materials, such as strips of canvas and paper, are collaged on top of the oil paint, adding more to the tactile quality of the work. 

Detail of the first piece we acquired.

The second piece we acquired is called Promenade, and is an excellent example of Nelson using a more neutral color scheme alongside subtley bright, saturated colors. In this instance we can see a bright pop of orange at the bottom of the painting, an anomaly creating an interesting focal point. See the painting below.

The second Nelson piece we acquired, Promenade, oil on canvas, 1978.

Detail of Promenade

Detail of Promenade

The images below are a couple examples of Fredrick Nelson's newer work, in which he uses even brighter, more saturated color schemes. These pieces were recently included in an exhibition at Atrium Gallery (photo courtesy Atrium). Please visit their website for information.

Lost Heart, 2009

This Verse, 2010


  1. Hey. Good to see that you all are posting again. Haven't made my way down to the new shop yet, but hope to make a stop soon.

  2. Thank You Nick! Yes, I have a good team now working with me since I have opened the shop who are also helpful with writing blog post. The goal is to stay more consistent with at least 1 or 2 post per week.

  3. I love the two pieces you have. The subdued colors are beautiful to me.