Portfolio > The Idea of Up

frosch&portmann is pleased to present The Idea of Up, Brad Nelson’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist lives and works in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

In his most recent installation, Nelson plays with the ambiguity and breadth of the term “up”. "Up" can be used to articulate success and failure, balance and imbalance, perspective, geographic location, metaphysics, ethics, control or inspiration. The understanding of “up” hinges on an individual’s perspective and connection to the word.

The Idea of Up consists of a series of loosely connected paintings and sculptures that explores the concept of the idea “up.” The vertically installed sculpture of a 64inch (the artist’s eye level) measuring stick serves as a divider of the space into an above and a below; a faint-blue chalk line on the walls around the entire gallery will further articulate this division. Sculptures of everyday items are placed on the floor or on the walls below eye level and will function as the tangible tools we use to physically organize, understand, and/or decipher our surroundings. Dealing with a more conceptual understanding, paintings and drawings are shown on and above eye level. Each individual piece has its own specific relation to the idea of "up" and is concerned with the various meanings and perspectives.

The viewers enter into a space where they are confronted with a series of connections that can be used as a scaffold to construct meaning. The artist creates an "electric" or "charged" setting that is sparse and where everything is assumed to possess a significance in the understanding of the whole. Nelson’s most recent installation is concerned with notions of outlook, position, spirituality or inspiration and is largely influenced by his role as a father. The Idea of Up is an attempt to find understanding, perspective and balance.


Brad Nelson received a Bachelors degree in photography from the University of Kentucky, Post Baccalaureate Certificate, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University. His work has been shown all over the country including New York, Boston, Minneapolis, and Texas.

January 15 - February 22, 2015
Hours: Wed - Sun, 12 - 6

The Idea of Up (bird)
graphite on paper
5 x 3 in.
2014
The Idea of Up (level)
oil and acrylic on polystyrene
2013
The Idea of Up (dowsing rod)
oil and acrylic on polystyrene
2015
The Idea of Up (sunglasses)
oil on polystyrene
2013
The Idea of Up (trophy)
oil on canvas
16 x 12 in.
2015
The Idea of Up (aerial view)
graphite on paper
8.5 x 11 in.
2015
The Idea of Up #10
oil on mat board
11 x 15 in.
2014
The Idea of Up (lightning bolt)
oil on panel
12 x 16 in.
2013
The Idea of Up (tate's drawing)
oil on panel
12 x 16 in.
2013
The Idea of Up #12
oil on mat board
11 x 15 in.
2014
The Idea of Up (glenn gould)
graphite on paper
11 x 8.5 in.
2014
The Idea of Up (breath player)
oil on polystyrene
2015
The Idea of Up #13
oil on canvas
56 x 42 in.
2015
The Idea of Up #11
oil on mat board
11 x 15 in.
2014
The Idea of Up #8
oil on canvas
12 x 15 in.
2015
The Idea of Up (stack of rocks)
acrylic on polystyrene
2014
The Idea of Up #4
oil on mat board
11 x 15 in.
2013
The Idea of Up (hilltop)
graphite on paper
11 x 8.5 in.
2015
The Idea of Up (water spigot)
oil on polystyrene
2013
The Idea of Up (firework)
graphite on paper
11 x 8.5 in.
2015
The Idea of Up (matchstick)
oil on mat board
10 x 8 in.
2012
The Idea of Up #3
oil on mat board
11 x 15 in.
2014
The Idea of Up #7
oil on panel
16 x 12 in,
2014
The Idea of Up (banana peel)
oil on polystyrene
2012
The Idea of Up # 6
oil on panel
12 x 16 in.
2014
The Idea of Up (aerial view)
graphite on paper
8.5 x 11 in.
2015