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Neil Frazer: Cool Change (2017)

Neil Frazer: Cool Change (2017)

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  • Fri 9 Jun ’17, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
  • Sat 10 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sun 11 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Tue 13 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wed 14 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 15 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 16 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 17 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sun 18 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Mon 19 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Tue 20 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wed 21 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 22 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 23 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 24 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sun 25 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Mon 26 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Tue 27 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wed 28 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thu 29 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fri 30 Jun ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sat 1 Jul ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sun 2 Jul ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Mon 3 Jul ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Tue 4 Jul ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Wed 5 Jul ’17, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • View all sessions


Milford Galleries Queenstown, 9a Earl Street, Queenstown


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

The character of any painting changes with the distance of the viewer from the canvas. View a painting too closely, and the image is lost in the brush strokes; view it from too far, and the artist’s painterly skills are obscured by the beauty of the subject matter.

This general statement is seldom truer than in the paintings of Neil Frazer. From a distance, the craggy peaks and rich folded hills of Central Otago dominate. These landforms are brought to startling life in Frazer’s bold images. Look more closely, however, and Frazer’s work takes on many of the characteristics of abstract expressionism.

The paint is applied willfully and forcefully, the thick impasto imitating the rocky landscape. This hefty bravura paintwork stands in sharp contrast to the deliberately flat skies which lie behind the tops.

Many of Frazer’s early works were a pure abstraction. Over the last ten years, he has concentrated on his great love for the New Zealand mountains. The artist revels in the experience of being in this landscape, and his paintings reflect both the land and an attempt to convey some of this exhilaration. As he puts it, he does not paint simply what he sees but attempts to add in information gathered from personal experiences - such as long walks to mountain tops and aerial views by helicopter (1).

Frazer’s work, therefore, transcends pure landscape to become a spiritual mapping of the explorer’s progress. The artist doesn’t simply present us with views, but takes us with him on his journey through the land.

Frazer’s latest series of painterly images focuses on the countryside around Queenstown. In paintings such as Range Peak Blue (2017) the artist makes great use of the symmetry provided by reflection on water. The contrast between the plain, clear skies and the subtle tonal variations of the lake surface add an extra dimension to these works, both metaphorically and in terms of the apparent depth of the views.

The mountains relinquish some of their snowy mantle to reveal their true nature, dominating the shoreline and thrusting their walls of rock into the sky. Elsewhere, as in The Hanging Pool (2017), a similar sense of depth is provided by the masterful depiction of valley mist below the high, frozen peaks.

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