New York

Paul Frazier

Fishbach Gallery

Paul Frazier’s new work gives a fascinating view into this dilemma. Frazier’s solutions attempt to refute the cardinal feature of minimal structure—an unwavering Euclidian frame of reference. Employing hollow planar forms, the sculptor attacks the equidistant, congruent, symmetrical planes of the minimal mode in favor of organic crystalline arrangements in which each separate face takes on eccentric trapezial configurations. Moreover, Frazier is intrigued by the theme of the staggered form, not unlike a slipped layer of schist or crystal. This salutary attempt to lighten the tyranny of purely equal planarity creates tense and provocative forms which are seemingly frozen in mid-slide.

The seamed or shifted motif had appeared earlier in Frazier’s handsome pieces. About two years ago he had already experimented with this notion, additionally vivifying it chromatically by painting his forms in an especially disastrous range of hot color. “Cooling it” at present, the new works are all lacquered white. Since the postulates of this kind of structure are especially demanding, may I suggest that Frazier’s monuments (they are certainly monuments, as New Yorkers could judge from the forecourt of Old City Hall where the large Cuboid Shift Number 2 was recently placed) fall short of the immaculate. Since one’s appreciation is diverted by marrings, scuffs and other minor distractions on the wooden surfaces, the cold perfection that Frazier aims at perhaps may better be realized in an artificial industrial material like white formica.

Robert Pincus-Witten