Gold Dust: Nathan Brad Hall
May 19 – August 19, 2023
Gold Dust features a series of recent works by New York City-based artist Nathan Brad Hall. The artist is known for his realistically rendered portraits and figures. The majority of the paintings and drawings were created in 2022 and 2023 and are being exhibited for the first time in this solo-exhibition. Hall’s on-going preference for painting large canvases is demonstrated in Gold Dust, with the largest composition, King, spanning 80 x 120 inches. Hall states that he wishes to offer “glimpses into the intensity and vulnerability of being human. Working at a sizable scale allows the viewer to be enveloped in the figure’s deep humanity”.
Hall’s use of strong directional light is a hallmark of his paintings as his subjects seem to emerge from darkened environments. For instance, in the recent 2022 large-scale portrait, Wait for Me, the facial features of his red-haired subject are partially obscured in shadow. Hall states, “This interplay of light and shadow, paired with the complexity and illusion of color, drives me to capture these temporal moments with the fluidity of paint”. When the painter’s intense light source rakes over his subjects, the results are dramatic. In Kingdom Come, a shard of diagonal light illuminates the hair and forehead of his handsome sitter, while the remaining facial features, neck, and tattered t-shirt are shrouded within the shadow.
While Hall’s depictions may at first-glance seem hyper-realist in execution, the artist’s selective use of thickly modeled paint passages add a more intuitive and textural dimension to the surface. Hall states, “Using both expressive and refined brush strokes of various thickness, my work uses the physical nature of oil paint to explore the balance of energy and stillness that can make the human figure come alive”.
Left: Nathan Brad Hall (American, born 1974). Incinerate, 2022. Oil on stretched linen. Courtesy of the artist.
Right: Nathan Brad Hall (American, born 1974). Haven, 2023. Charcoal on paper. Courtesy of the artist.