Viewfinder is an extraordinary body of landscape paintings that continues on from Frazer’s radical shift towards a more traditional landscape painting approach, which commenced with his 2004 show Super Nature at milford galleries auckland. In Super Nature, he began to incorporate illusory perspectival techniques into his work, using variegated paint application to achieve spatial illusions. Prior to this shift, Frazer had been primarily involved with paint as both a descriptor and subject. At times, the dense impasto paintwork took on such physicality as to become sculptural, describing with a heightened literalness the substance of the land, earth and energy.
It is fascinating to compare Frazer’s increasingly literal landscapes with his earlier abstractions. While still working with the monumentality of paint on canvas, his recent work builds up heavy layers of impasto in order to describe place. Irrefutably linked to the South Island of New Zealand, the paintwork and shapes in these images describe the rugged energy and essential beauty of cold mountain-scapes.
The apparent opposition between Frazer’s expressive style and his carefully chosen colour palette brings about a specificity of emotional and sensory response, which is emphasised powerfully throughout the exhibition.