Abstract artist Nate Ethier brings an explosion of color into a room with his flashy geometric structures, demonstrating symmetry and control of space. His combination of strong lines and soft brush strokes showcase a complex humanity, exemplifying relationships with the varying patterns, depths, and colors within each work of abstraction. Son of a carpenter, Ethier uses tools similarly to exhibit structure and visual changes within the work. The patterns he creates balance comfort with challenge, as he introduces new elements to the familiar grid.
Born in 1977 in Providence, his connection to coastal New England is exhibited in his translucent layers of colors, resembling the water and beaches of his native Rhode Island. Ethier studied Liberal Arts at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT and earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University.
URBAN EXPERIENCE BENEFICIAL TO ABSTRACTION
Ethier works in an urban atmosphere, and the chaos around him adds to his creation of calming patterns, removing him from the outside noise. He does spend time in the summer at a beach location to simply gather ideas and inspiration for new works. Ethier works often in layers, combining both geometric and strong lines with layers of color, using glazing and transparent whitewash over the brash, bright colors underneath. Viewers note that the smaller images found within his work at times give a feeling of competing influences, and shapes may appear to rival each other.
Abstraction and formalism—with bold colors, industrial tendencies combined with fine brush strokes to exemplify his unique vision. His patterns may lead some viewers to think “pop art”; however, Nate avoids that term, and his focus is more on the abstract aspect of his works. His patterns are painted individually, and the repetition is simply one part of the work and not the heart thereof. In some works, a few slivers of contrasting color or shape create a piece that is not just a predictable pattern, and shadowing and contrast within the pattern add interest to the viewer’s experience. In fact, the combination of harsh geometric shapes and soft brushstrokes provide a visual machine, where viewers may see motion in the balance between the two.
PHOTOGRAPHY AS INSPIRATION TO ABSTRACTION
He is at times inspired by street photography, and photographs he has taken for Instagram which attract him to exhibit a specific structure or site he is drawn to, and uniquely urban in nature. The utilization of numbers, and a numbered or patterned system, allows for scaling of his work in both small and large examples. His works fit comfortably in a post-industrial culture.
Nate Ethier has a strong relationship and presence at the LMAK Gallery, located on the Lower East Side in New York. LMAK is committed to presenting works of all types, from paintings to sculpture, video to photography, showcasing interdisciplinary style from international artists. He has participated in the following exhibitions at LMAK:
In addition, he has works included in the following exhibitions at the Nancy Margolis Gallery, located in the Chelsea art district, and an example of contemporary galleries focusing on both emerging and established artists who demonstrate unique vision:
- 2016 Small Works: More or Less
- 2016 Nate Ethier | Speak About the Ocean, his first solo exhibition
Other past exhibitions have been found in:
- Outpost Artists Resources, Ridgewood, NY
- Brian Morris Gallery & Buddy Warren Inc., New York, NY
- Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Open Studios, DUMBO Brooklyn, NY
- Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
- Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
- NurtureART Benefit (invitational), The Boiler/Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
- SEABA Gallery, Burlington, VT
- All-over or Nothing, Parallel Art Space, London, England
- Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, New York, NY
- Bennington Arts Center, Bennington, VT
- H Gallery, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- 2014-2015 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program Award (formerly the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program)
- 2013 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant Nominee
- 2011 Vermont Studio Center Visual Artist Grant
Ethier’s works, both in large and small scale, prove that geometric shapes and soft strokes of the brush combine to provide images which lead the viewer to imagine a different story, not only at each passing glance, but as the eyes look for details and the overall view of the whole work.