Thu September 30 - Sat October 30, 2021

Chris Natrop - In the Fold

Chris Natrop's studio practice is centered on the act of cutting paper. Executed free form and exclusively with a knife, it has evolved into a stream of consciousness drawing technique, a meditation of repetition and reduction. Immediate cutting decisions and the intentional lack of pre-planning allows for the discovery of ambiguous silhouetted imagery that surface as interconnected landscapes. Individual cut paper objects stand alone or are fabricated into other two-dimensional formats. All elements come together in various combinations, creating larger multifaceted installations: worlds in which light, shadow, and form coalesce into a stable equilibrium.

The exhibition In the Fold contains three distinct but interlinking parts: Sunset Crystal Fold, Reflector Specter, and Matrix Nouveau.

Sunset Crystal Fold is a series of eight framed works consisting of cut paper and acrylic paint. These objects depict networks of organic and geometric formations within deep atmospheric color. Meticulous cutting permeates the acrylic and paper substrate creating a meshwork between substance and nothingness. The richly painted surface of hard-edged sprayed on color gives way to a reticulation of cutout voids. This interplay between delineated form and emptiness becomes the essence of the work with its overall composition realized by the select removal of the picture plane. The dismantlement of two-dimensions produces a depth within the flat object allowing light to pass. This produces a spectrum of background shapes with colorized shadows, a product of light bouncing off its hidden neon colored backside. Conducting in-studio crystal making experiments, Natrop played with the oxidized natural formations that took shape as the materials cooled. This playful jumping-off point generated and integrated the phantasms of nature into his art making process.

The series Reflector Specter is part of Natrop's ongoing practice of incorporating aspects of previous cut paper ephemera into new types of sculptural projects. The outlines of countless knife cuts from previous work are captured from photos and digitally manipulated then fabricated into fresh generations of new works. Reflector Specter is a grouping of wall-hung sculptures with direct linkage back to original cut paper drawings created in San Francisco almost twenty years ago. Cut from thin sheets of mirrored stainless steel, the formation of these works belies their simpler paper origins. The original forms have been thoroughly tweaked and distorted to embody an enhanced sensibility, an apparition of bygone memories. Like hovering cloud formations, these flat sculptures cling to the wall in pseudo-bas-relief; their internal complexities a chiaroscuro of reflection and prismatic shadowing. These works manifest a shared moment in time, but always reflect the present instant.

Matrix Nouveau consists of acrylic and glitter on hand cut paper. Produced in 2018, these pieces incorporate a more free-flowing process. None of the paint or cutting was overly manipulated, allowing for more natural and spontaneous formations to occur. As juxtaposed with Sunset Crystal Fold, its composition is unstructured and amorphous where the other is rigid and crystalline.

Image Credit: Chris Natrop, Crystal Fern Fold, 2021
Acrylic on cut paper, 60 x 66 inches (unframed)
Chris Natrop's studio practice is centered on the act of cutting paper. Executed free form and exclusively with a knife, it has evolved into a stream of consciousness drawing technique, a meditation of repetition and reduction. Immediate cutting decisions and the intentional lack of pre-planning allows for the discovery of ambiguous silhouetted imagery that surface as interconnected landscapes. Individual cut paper objects stand alone or are fabricated into other two-dimensional formats. All elements come together in various combinations, creating larger multifaceted installations: worlds in which light, shadow, and form coalesce into a stable equilibrium.

The exhibition In the Fold contains three distinct but interlinking parts: Sunset Crystal Fold, Reflector Specter, and Matrix Nouveau.

Sunset Crystal Fold is a series of eight framed works consisting of cut paper and acrylic paint. These objects depict networks of organic and geometric formations within deep atmospheric color. Meticulous cutting permeates the acrylic and paper substrate creating a meshwork between substance and nothingness. The richly painted surface of hard-edged sprayed on color gives way to a reticulation of cutout voids. This interplay between delineated form and emptiness becomes the essence of the work with its overall composition realized by the select removal of the picture plane. The dismantlement of two-dimensions produces a depth within the flat object allowing light to pass. This produces a spectrum of background shapes with colorized shadows, a product of light bouncing off its hidden neon colored backside. Conducting in-studio crystal making experiments, Natrop played with the oxidized natural formations that took shape as the materials cooled. This playful jumping-off point generated and integrated the phantasms of nature into his art making process.

The series Reflector Specter is part of Natrop's ongoing practice of incorporating aspects of previous cut paper ephemera into new types of sculptural projects. The outlines of countless knife cuts from previous work are captured from photos and digitally manipulated then fabricated into fresh generations of new works. Reflector Specter is a grouping of wall-hung sculptures with direct linkage back to original cut paper drawings created in San Francisco almost twenty years ago. Cut from thin sheets of mirrored stainless steel, the formation of these works belies their simpler paper origins. The original forms have been thoroughly tweaked and distorted to embody an enhanced sensibility, an apparition of bygone memories. Like hovering cloud formations, these flat sculptures cling to the wall in pseudo-bas-relief; their internal complexities a chiaroscuro of reflection and prismatic shadowing. These works manifest a shared moment in time, but always reflect the present instant.

Matrix Nouveau consists of acrylic and glitter on hand cut paper. Produced in 2018, these pieces incorporate a more free-flowing process. None of the paint or cutting was overly manipulated, allowing for more natural and spontaneous formations to occur. As juxtaposed with Sunset Crystal Fold, its composition is unstructured and amorphous where the other is rigid and crystalline.

Image Credit: Chris Natrop, Crystal Fern Fold, 2021
Acrylic on cut paper, 60 x 66 inches (unframed)
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Date/Times:
  • Thu Sep 30 (12noon - 4pm)
  • Fri Oct 1 (12noon - 4pm)
  • Sat Oct 2 (12noon - 4pm)
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Nancy Toomey Fine Art 15 Upcoming Events
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