Edward Cella Art + Architecture is pleased to present streetseasky, featuring new work by artist R. Nelson Parrish. Rendering a kinetic impression of the Southern Californian landscape, Parrish visually distills the iconic elements of surf, sun, and highway through glass-like resin, wall mounted objects. Ultimately seeking the inter-connectedness of body and landscape, the artist uses the speed and dynamism of athletics to inform his euphoric surges of color and pattern. Suspended beneath multiple layers of cured resin, the works evocatively blur the boundary between sculpture and painting and transcend the stasis of the art object.
Parrish’s highly refined material process invokes the dexterity, agility, and dedication of the athlete. By painstakingly building these refined accretions of poured, cast, and polished environmentally friendly bio-resin in his studio, Parrish enacts the process of his work with an athlete’s perfectionism and deliberateness. Seizing the “moment,” Parrish’s panels suspend time and seek to isolate this heightened experience of the athletic apex. When viewing Parrish’s work, the viewer bears unlikely witness to a crystalline rush of adrenaline, literally apprehended within the material surface. Pigments are layered beneath and within the transparent material effectively capturing light and motion with a unique dimensionality. Parrish’s work is neither entirely painting nor sculpture, but seeks to reconcile and integrate the two in a distinct way. His fascination with the confluence of seemingly opposing physical states, for example speed and stasis or land and sky, provides inspiration for the energetic transformations and experiential phenomena evidenced at the heart of his work.
As an avid traveler, Parrish has explored moving through various topographies, and has summoned the specificity of their environments to inform the energetic and yet layered abstraction in his work. Through the selection and positioning of color in resin, and the decisive repetition of line, his work suggests the particular landscapes he draws from for inspiration. Recent museum exhibitions in Park City, Utah and Anchorage, Alaska offered the artist an opportunity to respond to their diverse and contrasting landscapes. In streetseasky, Parrish directs his attention to his adopted home of Southern California, with its distinctive and renowned interface of sea, sky, and land, and explores the geography through movement. Exploring the inter-connectedness of landscape and corporeal activity, Parrish looks to surfing and driving for his kinetic inspiration. A wall sized installation entitled, Light Over the Pacific, underscores the specific set of references central to the exhibition. Refusing the traditional paradigm of art in absence of athletics, Parrish substitutes the inertia of the formal object for the physical consciousness and activity of the participant. The vitality and optimism of the Southern Californian landscape is at the fore of streetseasky: its coasts, its endless horizons, and its warmth emanate from these energetic and active works. streetseasky is about the experience of being in the landscape, activated in the landscape, and connected to the landscape. Nelson Parrish’s work is vital and impressionistic, and yet disciplined and refined, and at the heart of it all is the paradox of speed begetting suspension, meditation, and arrest in the midst of endless movement.
In conjunction with an exhibition entitled COLOR/FAST, David Pagel wrote, “Rather than functioning as decorative elements, Parrish’s racing stripes are physical emblems of your eyes’ activities: concrete graphics that hint at what happens when a viewer engages these highly energized —and rigorously disciplined — abstractions.”
R. Nelson Parrish completed an MFA at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 2012, Parrish was the subject of a solo exhibition entitled COLOR/FAST at the Kimbell Art Center in Park City, UT, and was included in True North: Contemporary Art of the Circumpolar North, organized by the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. His work was recently featured in group exhibitions at the Ventura Museum and the Palos Verdes Art Center; and he is represented by the Nobel Gallery in Oslo, Norway. The Re-known Health Center in Reno, Nevada commission Parrish for a site specific installation in 2010. This will be the second exhibition with ECAA for the artist.
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Edward Cella Art + Architecture
6018 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90036