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New York based painter Phil Frost (b. 1973) has evolved a consistent\, i nstantly recognizable aesthetic synonymous with his name\, which he refers to as &ldquo\;intuitive perceptive portraiture.&rdquo\; This first exhibiti on of new work at Ace Gallery testifies to his relevance and extensive cult ural reach as a leading contemporary artist who is self taught. Frost&rsquo \;s title for the exhibition\, with its multiple meanings\, alludes to the ascetic life. Referring to the internal struggles involved in the act of pa inting\, it is often an unnerving personal journey involving intense discip line and patience in self-imposed isolation. Encoded in the pursuit\, there is no straying from a discipline in which he is immersed. As many artists and writers experience\, The Solace of the Sword references the st ruggle with solitary confinement required to create. Frost&rsquo\;s visual language melds layers of flat-white\, culturally indeterminate mask-like fo rms with bold typographical and fluid\, glyphic\, geometric\, and sinuous s hapes that dance above vivid spectrums of painterly color\, forming the lon g-necked busts and repetitions of faces that are pronounced as his intuitiv e portraiture.

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Raised in rural Western Massachusetts\, from a young age he grew up searching for and sometimes finding Indian adzes and arrowheads in farm fields and forests\, and he made use of a natural fountain found at the edge of the woods that spouted clay by sitting at its rim and forming shapes in his hands. Early artistic experiment found him repetitiously draw ing the white streak found in the hair of comic book scientist Reed Richard s of The Fantastic Four\, as well as scenes of Pac-Man chasing ghosts\, and the antennae found on Batman&rsquo\;s mask. Just before his early teens\, Frost began to enjoy spending time on summer visits with an older cousin wh o was an authority on antique glass bottles found in Northwestern Ohio. Tog ether they would go on expeditions armed with maps of former times from the library and dig farm fields and abandoned rural dumps for glass vessels. < br />

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The unearthed treasures were impressed upon his mind and this arch aeological drive influenced him\, and would continue to. It was later revea led when he began making work imbued with collected and found objects\, as a way to present the actual passage of his life gesturally into the context of a painted visual passage&mdash\;a representation to articulate how the now inflects a lineage of experience in time and space that is formed both physically and intuitively from what is around him.

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In his adolescence F rost moved\, along with his younger sister and mother\, by whom he was sole ly raised\, to Cooperstown\, NY for just over two years. There\, an early f ascination with baseball and in particular the position of pitching and the arabesque-like gesture made by a swinging bat was deepened.

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His teenage years were spent in Albany\, NY and were consumed by skateboarding downtow n in the Capital District\, where various terrain included Ellsworth Kelly sculptures and the perfectly transitionally-formed marble quarter-pipes\, t he glass walls on the architecture of Wallace Harrison&rsquo\;s Egg\, and t he marble playground he designed known as The Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza. His often taking off on excursions to New York City to skatebo ard with friends led to an awareness and depth of interest in graffiti and anonymous mark making. Eventually cracking both of his kneecaps and repeate dly breaking both wrists\, Frost was about to drop out of high school when a principal recommended an independent-study art class\, to make up extra c redit. With no teacher but the materials put in front of him\, Frost would figure out how best to stretch a canvas\, venture to find objects he could use as material in left over fire pits\, and decide that he wanted to be a painter on his own terms. At a yard sale he attended with his mother he sco red a 25-cent brown paper bag of oil paints along with a copy of David Sylv ester&rsquo\;s Interviews with Francis Bacon that led to his further convic tion. Captivated\, he read it intently and repeatedly. Also self taught\, B acon&rsquo\;s ethos resonated deeply and triggered in Frost\, at the age of eighteen\, an eager thirst for art-historical precedents\, including in pa rticular\, Alberto Giacometti\, whose fascination with heads\, busts and fi gures in space began the evolution and direction that has defined Frost&rsq uo\;s work today.

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At eighteen\, late in the summer of 1991\, Frost moved on his own to Long Island City\, Queens. Here\, he took union jobs\, labor ing in the night on the backs of trucks so that he could have his days free to persistently explore museums\, scour the streets for materials\, and ma ke his work in the tiny\, windowless basement studio that he inhabited. Sur rounded by many different ethnicities and without speaking or understanding any language other than English\, Frost found immense inspiration in closi ng his eyes on the subway and listening to the sound of multiple languages being spoken all at once\, recording fragments of words and charting with h is eyes closed a hybrid of language. Early work with typography found him k nocking out the negative space created by letterforms with white\, as a way to "pop\," or form random patterns of shape\, to react against color. Thes e fluid and sinuous patterns of white shapes that often dominate his work o f late came from a progressive evolution of the reduction of words that in the same way often form a nonsensical lingual chanting woven throughout the intricate layering in his painting.

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Phil Frost was born in Jamestown\, NY in 1973 and currently lives and works in the Upper Hudson Valley region of Upstate NY. \;

DTEND:20140125 DTSTAMP:20140724T135554 DTSTART:20130720 GEO:34.0621844;-118.3489078 LOCATION:Ace Gallery- Los Angeles\,5514 Wilshire Blvd. \nLos Angeles\, CA 9 0036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Solace of the Sword\, Phil Frost UID:284238 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130720T220000 DTSTAMP:20140724T135554 DTSTART:20130720T200000 GEO:34.0621844;-118.3489078 LOCATION:Ace Gallery- Los Angeles\,5514 Wilshire Blvd. \nLos Angeles\, CA 9 0036 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Solace of the Sword\, Phil Frost UID:284239 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR