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Hal Frater: A Retrospective

June 18 - October 24, 2004


(above: Hal Frater, Quo Vadis, 1989, oil on linen, 48 x 30 inches, Gift of the artist. Collection of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art)

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto is pleased to announce the opening of Hal Frater: A Retrospective. The exhibition, which opened June 18, 2004 celebrates the prolific career of an American virtuoso. The Museum will hold a reception for the exhibition from 4 to 7 p.m. on August 7. The exhibition will remain on view through October 24, 2004. (right: Hal Frater, Self Portrait wth Muse, 1969, oil on linen, 48 x 36 inches, Gift of the artist. Collection of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art)

Frater's paintings stand alone in their technical excellence, imaginative perceptions and sense of humor. His range of subject matter was broad and varied, with landscapes, nudes, and religious, political and social subjects counted among his works. A keen observer of the world around him, Frater captures the natural beauty, the social message and the hidden allegorical meaning with a strong sense of color and light.

"Frater's work reflects a rare combination of both intuitive and instinctive sensibilities -- he personifies the reaction painter who houses deep compassionate feelings and insight," said Nancy di Benedetto, art historian and critic and guest curator of the exhibition. "He has left a lasting and unique imprint on the American art scene for which we are that much richer."

Di Benedetto, of New York City, has taught and lectured at several prestigious institutions, including Marymount Manhattan College, Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York School of Interior Design, where she also served as administrative dean. She also formerly served as associate dean at SUNY-Purchase. Di Benedetto has bachelor's degrees in art history and English from Yale University and a master's degree in art history from Hunter College.

Although he paints in a style all his own, Frater's representational, experessionistic works are reminiscent of colleagues and friends such as Jack Levine, Raphael Soyer, John Sloan, Thomas Hart Benton, Reginald Marsh and Philip Reisman, di Benedetto said. "Frater is very much an artist of the present where he reminds people of who they are, where they have been, and the experiences they have felt. Not nostalgic or sentimental, he touches the reactions and emotions that are real today," she said. (right: Hal Frater, Artists All, 1989, oil on linen, 34 x 40 inches, Gift of the artist. Collection of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art)

A self-taught artist, Frater works in all media, from oil and watercolor to sculpture. The artist has had solo shows at Grippi Gallery, Quid Novi Gallery, Gallery 84 and Art 54 Gallery in New York City, and has been widely exhibited throughout the country. His work is represented in many public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe.

"Everything I do makes a statement," the artist said. "I am very interested in the condition of man, the meaning of things, even my landscapes take on a life of their own."


Also on exhibit:

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley is exhibiting American Portraiture: The Figurative Works of Wayman Adams. The exhibition, which opened June 18 and continues through August 29, 2004 celebrates the work of one of America's preeminent portraitists. The exhibition debuted earlier this year at SAMA's Loretto facility.

Portraiture has occupied a central position in Western art and comprises, with landscape painting, the backbone of American art. During his day, Adams was considered one of America's leading portrait painters, painting both the famous and ordinary, all with equal care and devotion. His quick brushwork, command of color and understanding of composition allowed him the flexibility to choose the Realist style of American Masters, Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase, characterized by dark and moody tones, and the Impressionist style.

For 27 years, SAMA has collected and exhibited 19th- and 20th-century American art to the rural communities of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Established by Sean M. Sullivan, T.O.R., the Museum first opened its doors in June 1976 with 47 paintings, sculptures and drawings and a collection of 20 etchings by John Sloan. Since that time, the collection has grown to number more than 3,000 works of art by some of this country's finest artists.


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Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.