Decorum prevents us from running all the images we received as a sneak peek of Philly painter Katherine Fraser’s new gallery show, “Believers,” at Paradigm — we feel like more than five would be just too many spoilers. The show features 32 new paintings, all centered around themes of “identity, reckoning with loss, and the strength we find through connections,” but lest that sound like a bummer, Fraser’s paintings do a kind of sumptuous melancholy where others might go maudlin. Moreover, her work sits in a line of contemporary portraiture and realism that definitely tips her hand as a PAFA grad — there’s elements of the same stately vibe of Barkley L. Hendricks and Bo Bartlett here. With “Believers,” though, Fraser feels like she’s working across a mood narrative, like a novel that’s really a collection of linked stories, of blue tones and strong spirits.
Katherine Fraser’s “Believers” opens at Paradigm Gallery with an Opening Reception, Friday, September 23rd, 5:30-10:00pm, and runs through October 28th.