Bio: Katherine Fraser is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and of the University of Pennsylvania. As a student she received the Thomas Eakins Painting prize, the Cecelia Beaux Portrait prize, and the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Travel Award, among others. Since graduation she has been exhibiting throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, most regularly at Artists’ House Gallery in Philadelphia. Her subject matter comes from memories and experiences that feel in some way universal. By portraying singular figures in sparse settings, she explores the idea that being alone makes us feel most alive and connected to our true nature.
Statement: Life often strikes me as a string of moments, like a series of film stills, in which we observe ourselves. I paint people experiencing these moments of profound self-awareness and growth; when the rest of the world drops away and we are left bare. My paintings have the quality of memories, lacking in detail but full of feeling and vivid in their depiction of a mood. The subject matter comes from my own memories and my ideas about the kinds of memories that many people share. I have found that certain kinds of settings tend to lead people inward, and to me the rural landscape is a nursery for the soul. Though my subjects usually stand alone, I am less interested in loneliness than in the way being alone is often when we experience feelings of being the most alive. Sometimes even being unhappy can have a certain beauty if it makes us experience things more intensely. I am curious about what makes us who we are and I wonder how well can we ever know ourselves. Our perceptions of the world are so limited, and I am intrigued by the fact that certain experiences or observations may take on great significance while others escape us entirely. I am fascinated by the idea that to some extent we create our own history through the bias of our memories.