Froelick Gallery is pleased to welcome Brooklyn-based artist Nat Meade back for Sheesh, his latest exhibition of paintings on small-scale hemp canvas and panel-mounted paper surfaces. Meade's work of recent years has depicted the faces of men in highly affected adornments of nostalgic masculinity- thick beards, tinted sunglasses, glowing cigarettes. Beneath this exterior, his characters appear to be blocky collections of barely-carved features, disguising with little success their lack of substance. In Sheesh, his men are seemingly given over to impassivity- most, with eyes closed, lie on the ground, float in water, or stand as flower petals, smoke, rain, tears, blades of grass, or waves blow across their faces. Rather than an external critique, these figures stand in for Meade's own open questions regarding his relationship with manhood, adulthood, and fatherhood.
These scenes are fertile ground for Meade's heavily worked and reworked painting style, in which his layered, scraped, and scumbled surfaces reveal the pieces' underpainted histories- his colors, carefully arrived at, stand thickly upon many other colors, faces are forms to explore a hyperreal play of shadow and light, textures, seemingly rough, are carefully arrived at over time, influenced by coarse-textured hemp canvas and paper and built-up paint. Meade fuses this material virtuosity with wry affection and meditative reflection.
Meade was awarded the James Castle House artist residency to occur in the summer of 2020. He was profiled and reviewed in the March 2019 issue of Artforum Magazine, the October 2019 issue of Juxtapose Magazine, and in Maake Magazine, issue 5, 2017. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Portland, Oregon, Nat Meade received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 2007 and his B.F.A, Summa cum Laude, from the University of Oregon in 2001. He is Assistant to the Chair of Fine Arts at Pratt. He is a recent Sharpe-Walentis studio program artist, in which he was granted a rent-free studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, for one year. In 2017 The Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University hosted a solo exhibition for Meade titled The Wait.