Frank Rivera, painter
 

 

Art Press

Profile of the Artist

Hightstown Studio
Studio in Hightstown, New Jersey

“Rivera’s professional life borders on the hermetic: his daily, labor-intensive art-making practice is independent of outside agency. A typical Rivera painting may require more than 500 hours’ work and extend over a period of years. He produces four or five finished works a year.

“In his painting, Rivera pays homage to a Western European art tradition that spans centuries. His small, exquisitely detailed canvases hearken back to the devotional painting of the early Renaissance. Yet in place of a central figure or focus for the viewer’s devotion, we find fragments of a parallel universe...”

-- Nicole Plett, art writer, 2006

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Review of Luise Ross Gallery Exhibit, NYC, October 2008

Luise Ross Gallery Exhibit Luise Ross Gallery Exhibit

“Frank's work is a little like what you'd get if you crossed Keith Haring with Giorgio de Chirico or maybe Jean Arp.

“Frank repeats motifs from one painting to another giving the impression that there's some kind of private code at work...

“It's that obsessive quality, I think, that keeps these paintings firmly outside of whimsy ... and instead feel slightly unsettling, like a too-intense child.”

-- Chris Rywalt, Review of one-man show, New York City 2008

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“Intimately small in scale, exquisitely rendered in oil, the paintings are composed as similar but contrasting diptychs. Or, in a single frame, a smaller image is inserted in a larger background image -- a painting within a painting. In both formats, the effect is the same: Rivera almost surreally shifts the context of time and place and thereby reveals multiple aspects to what we are looking at, changing what we see. Dreamlike, muted coloration enhances this ambiguity.”

-- Luise Ross Gallery press release; Rivera's first one-man show in New York, November 2008

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“Rivera says [his] paintings are autobiographical, but each [work] seems more like a distillation than a rapidly jotted down memory, and their complexity in such small dimensions is made the more interesting for their visual clarity, though their meanings are often elusive.”

-- Dan Bischoff, Newark Star-Ledger

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“There is an iconic quality to his pieces, recalling the carefully wrought panels and religious icons of medieval art.”

-- Cathy Vikso, Trenton Times

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“Rivera paints very small but very clear.”

-- American painter Robert Postma

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“The paintings of Rivera are for the mind.”

-- Dallas Piotrowski, Curator, Chapin Gallery