DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce Mary Frank Pilgrimage: Photographs and Recent Sculpture, opening on November 9 and running through December 21, 2017 with a reception on November 9 from 6-8pm. This exhibition will include 60 recent photographs and a premier presentation of Mary Frank’s recent sculptural constructions of stone and paint. The exhibition will coincide with the publication, Pilgrimage: Photographs of Mary Frank (Eakins Press Foundation) with texts by the poet and critic John Yau, and the environmental activist and author, Terry Tempest Williams.
This exhibition presents, for the first time, a broad selection of the composed photographs that have been Frank’s creative focus for the last ten years. Frank taps into the creative potential of elemental objects using collage, painting, sculpture and drawing. With assemblages of stone, charred wood, ice, fire, flowers and branches she creates, then photographs, mythic, rugged worlds where silhouetted, archetypal figures interact with each other and their often harsh environments. She frames these mysterious spaces through photography resulting in images that defy categorization and bring us into compelling worlds filled with ambiguity and urgency.
As John Yau states, “...We are presented with a direct, loaded image that defies any single interpretation, which makes these works special. Frank’s photographs are pictures that launch a thousand stories, one feels her intense focus suffused throughout the image, from the placement of the objects to the angle of the camera.”
Intertwined throughout Frank’s photography and recent sculpture, is a raw political cry and objection to the inhumane struggles thrust on people to survive. Mary is compelled by the knowledge and images of war, destruction and displacement. As the artist states: “I want to make work that looks back at the viewer.” She presents migration, floods and global change in the hope that we can recognize these devastating struggles and work toward change. For over twenty-seven years Frank has worked with Solar Cookers International, which provides a practical cooking and water pasteurization alternative to people who live in extreme poverty.
Mary Frank’s art work presents a remarkable journey in life and art with an unrelenting pursuit of honest and direct expression. For sixty years the artist has been creating deeply personal works across various forms of media that reveal her experience and interpretation of human life and struggle.
Frank has said “Creatures, spaces, things, thoughts accrue and disappear in the studio. I say come in. They teach, shock, disturb, and thrill me. The chaos becomes this work.”
Mary Frank was born in England in 1933 and came to the United States in the early years of World War II as a refugee. She has been the subject of numerous solo museum and gallery exhibitions, including the exhibition Mary Frank: Finding My Way Home, which originated at the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC, in 2014 and traveled to the Butler Institute in Youngstown, OH, in 2015. In 2014 the documentary film, Visions of Mary Frank, was produced and released by filmmaker John Cohen. In 2000, the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, NY presented a major traveling retrospective of the artist’s paintings, Encounters, which was accompanied by a book with text by Linda Nochlin, and published by Abrams. Hayden Herrera was the author of a major survey of Mary Frank’s career that was published in 1990. Shadows of Africa, a collaboration with author Peter Matthiessen, was published by Abrams in 1992.
Mary Frank’s work is in many public collections, including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA.