Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present Come Softly to Me, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Louis Fratino. This is Fratino’s first exhibition with the gallery, and will be on view April 18 through May 24, 2019.
Louis Fratino’s deeply intimate paintings, often featuring lovers, family, friends, and the artist himself, present the human figure as a site of vast emotive expression. Paint is applied and blended in swathes of color and texture, forming a seductive tactility mirrored in the painted subject matter. Drawing from an art historical lineage of modernist figure painters—including Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger—Fratino’s works mine the possibilities of human connection amplified through the seductive power of the painted surface.
This selection of new works sees a shift from the domestic spaces that Fratino commonly depicts into the urban landscape, while also exploring psychological or metaphysical states. In some paintings, recognizable New York landmarks appear in the background as geographical markers of time and space, while in others, figures are unmoored from such associations, appearing in undefined color fields. In Fratino’s work, sexuality, intimacy, desire, and human connection are expressed as a constant presence for his subjects.
Born in 1993, in Annapolis, MD, Louis Fratino received his BFA in Painting with concentration in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2015. Recent exhibitions include Night and Day, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Hudson, NY (solo); Heirloom, Antoine Levi Gallery, Paris (solo); Youth and Beauty!, MAN Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, Nuoro, 2018 (group); and Matisse + Fratino, Cabinet Printemps, Düsseldorf, 2018 (group). He is a recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Painting, Berlin (2015-16) and a Yale Norfolk Painting Fellowship, Norfolk, CT in 2014. Fratino lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
On the occasion of Come Softly To Me., Sikkema Jenkins & Co. has published a facsimile of the artist’s sketchbook, made in the months leading up to the exhibition.