Landscape painting, at its heart, is the embodiment of a Romantic notion
of nature that can only exist in our minds. In fact, it was not until people achieved
sufficient removal from daily experience and confrontation with the harsh realities
of the outside world that they began to idealize and conceptualize it into a place
of spiritual fulfillment. The painting of landscape, of “Nature”, is about making
manifest that unattainable ideal. Nathaniel Meyer embraces this search for the
ideal- the worlds he depicts are fictions, but are also possessed of their own
inner logic; a storybook logic, with a storybook’s sense of grandeur. Nathaniel
Meyer paints lush, verdant worlds depicting the heroic and poetic aspects of the
coast of Maine. They are an amalgam of recollected memory, nostalgia, direct
observation, art historical research, and pure invention. Drawing inspiration from
such disparate elements as Golden Age illustration, 8-bit video games,
and comic splash pages, Meyer uses unambiguous, hard-edged specificity to
create an idealized and consciously artificial representation of the complexity of
the natural world. A product of our current age of environmental uncertainty, as
well as his own nostalgia for his childhood spent on the coast of Maine (another
idealized fantasy), these paintings depict unattainable utopias. Evoking a sense
of hope and yearning, these landscapes represent an attempted return to
Arcadia, even if only through paint.
Meyer received his BFA in Painting from Boston University, later undertaking a
MFA at Lesley University (formerly Art Institute of Boston). Meyer was the Artist-
in-Residence on Monhegan Island in 2015, and was awarded the Blanche E.
Colman Award in 2022. In 2023, he was awarded a residency at Ox-Bow School
of Art and Artists Residency in Saugatuck, MI. He will be attending this June.
He lives and works in South Portland, Maine.