McClain Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Houston-based artist Aaron Parazette.  In his continuing series of Color Key paintings, shaped canvases provide a playground for the artist's exploration of color relationships, irrational geometry, and perspective on a flat surface. In  casting aside a rectangular support for modern shaped canvases, Parazette investigates the ability of a painting to create space and allude to three dimensions. 

The Color Key paintings are at once playful and analytical: engaging the viewer's perceptual process through the implied perspective of geometrical shapes and lines.  The diagonal line reappears throughout the paintings as an antagonist, causing points of tension where spaces seem to unfold and then fall apart.  Hints of Parazette's surfing background also make an appearance as horizontal lines evoke the horizon of a virtual landscape. 

In the lineage of Hard-edged painting,  Parazette devises a compositional structure wherein flawless planes of color unabashedly confront each other, yielding vibrant and vivid color relationships.  Fluorescent-infused acrylic paints nearly jump from the background and further point to the artist's attempt to create a three-dimensional space upon a two-dimensional surface.  

Aaron Parazette's work will also be featured in the group exhibition Skin Freak at Inman Gallery's annex space at 3917 Main Street, May 20 through June 25, 2011.  The show was organized by Frances Colpitt and first opened this past fall at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Texas Christian University.

Aaron Parazette (b. 1960) grew up in Ventura, California and holds an MFA in Painting from the Claremont Graduate University. In 1990, Parazette relocated to Houston as a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He is currently an Associate Professor of Painting at the University of Houston.   

Among the institutions in which Parazette has shown are the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Austin Museum of Art; Lousiania State University, Baton Rouge; Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, North Carolina. Reviews of his work have appeared in ArtPapers, Art Lies, Art in America, the Houston Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the New Art Examiner, and the New York Times.  His paintings are included in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch. He was the recipient of a 2005 Artadia Fund for Art and Design and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1994.  This is his second solo exhibition at McClain Gallery.