About the Artist


Friesen Gallery announces the representation of R. Nelson Parrish. Reacting to Southern California living, Alaskan R. Nelson Parrish voices his work through color and uses personal experience as inspiration. His objects are comprised of: resin, pigmented resin, racing stripes, wood and fiberglass, resulting in a hybrid of painting and sculpture. Parrish’s work is a reflection of our current landscape and ultimately centers upon the question of natural versus synthetic.

R. Nelson Parrish studied at the University of Nevada-Reno and Deakin University in Geelong Australia. After an internship with the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada-Reno and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara. His work is primarily focused on the languages of color, motion and the contemporary landscape; creating visceral and tangible narratives that reflect our contemporary times. Parrish has had notable solo exhibitions at the BMW Welt, Munich, Germany; The Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT; Sheppard Gallery, Nevada, Reno; and Edward Cella Art+Architecture, Los Angeles, CA.

Artist Statement


Color is the vernacular we use when traditional words fail.

Originally, from Alaska, I have studied color my whole life. It is the universal language that can translate and communicate thoughts into visceral and immediate moments. My art practice has been built upon taking ideas and concepts – often considered too wild, rough or opposed – and crafting them into artifacts that are both modern and timeless. I enhance and abstract forms by the action of painting and sculpting: totems, cairns, flags and flitches are all united by color, making ephemeral ideas tactile and tangible. Utilizing the vocabulary of Color and Light, my aim is to seize the essence of a definitive sublime experience; those moments that are both raw and refined are often triggered by nature, and portray its emotional narrative for the audience. As an acknowledgment of the world by which we are inspired, I uphold a mission of sustainability and zero-waste in my studio practice. Even in the discarded there is gold.