Nathan Durfee, September 2022

September 2, 5-8pm


Nathan Durfee

About the Exhibit

Robert Lange Studios upcoming exhibit “Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants” features the work of oil painter Nathan Durfee. Durfee has…

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Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants
Pop Surreal Paintings from Nathan Durfee
On view: September 2 – 25
Opening Reception: Sept. 2 5-8pm


Robert Lange Studios upcoming exhibit “Dancing on the Shoulders of Giants” features the work of oil painter Nathan Durfee. Durfee has become recognized for painting fanciful realities. For this show Durfee has found old master works for inspiration and applied his own unique style to them. Durfee said, “I learned a lot about color choices and paint application, but the biggest takeaway was reaffirming the belief that there’s no ‘perfect’ way to approach art.” All are welcome at the Sept 2 opening from 5-8pm in conjunction with the Charleston Art Walk, where you can come see these new paintings as well as the references that helped inspire them and meet the artist.


Durfee says of the exhibit, “There were two main drivers of this show. I wanted to look back and study these old masterworks for inspiration in both subject matter as well as painting techniques. Curiosity also acted as a driver: I have a unique style and wanted to see what it looked like layered on top of these iconic works. I’m glad I found out!”


The process for creating these works was different than how Durfee typically creates his paintings. Speaking about one particular piece, he said, “‘Cardinals of Cassone’, based off of Klimt’s ‘Kirche in Cassone’, is a great example of how I approached these paintings. Not only is there a contrast in paint application, but also in the narrative. Turning the Church and houses into bird houses narrows stays true to my whimsy, while also giving a chance to explore the lives of each bird in the painting. Klimt’s bold application of color inspired me to push the limits and values in my own version, and my patchwork style compliments the composition and architecture. It’s a clear homage to the source material while also staying true to my voice and style.”


Building on the compositions and subjects of these familiar old master works, Durfee has discovered new depth in his own work. He said, “‘In addition to the whimsy and wonder that comes with my work, there’s almost a puzzle with each painting. People will feel a sense of familiarity as they discover the inspiration behind each work and then discover all the details that contrast the source material.”


Durfee’s previous shows have been defined by narrative elements; telling stories to tie the paintings together within the body of work but for this series, each piece stands alone waiting for the viewer to interpret it individually.


Overall the exhibit is the perfect example of Nathan Durfee’s unyielding ability to consistently evolve as a painter. Gallery owner Robert Lange said, “These new paintings feel like a real breakthrough for the artist. By referencing old masters works as his inspiration he has to really evaluate why these paintings stood out in history and then make his own painting based on the strengths of the originals. Of course when it comes to Nathan, you know this will all be done in a playful way.”


All are welcome at the opening.

Exhibit Images

Opening Night



Robert Lange Studios