Olsen Gruin is pleased to present Dale Frank, the eponymous solo exhibition comprising 15 abstract mixed media paintings by the lauded Australian artist. The large, colorful and self-reflective wall pieces, mostly composed of Epoxyglass on Perspex with additional nontraditional materials, possess droll biographical titles that range from pornographic to melancholy. The personification of each piece created through its unique, unfinished narrative conjures empathy, humor and wonder in addition to its abstract visual beauty and polished technical execution. Dale Frank will be on view at Olsen Gruin from September 5 – October 7, 2018.
Dale Frank is one of Australia’s premier international artists known for avant-garde, interdisciplinary, works often inspired by music. Steven Alderton, curator and Director of the National Art School, Australia, notes, “Dale Frank’s paintings observe everything that surrounds them. They engulf the viewer, pop culture, the everyday, and the politics of the moment. They are provocative and aggressive whilst enticing and alluring. The viewer is captured within the sheer surface of the seductive picture plane; you are trapped in a distortion of self and truth as you gaze upon yourself. Frank exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in the early eighties, in the Personal Structures exhibition at Palazzo Bembo, 55th Venice Biennale, the Armory Show New York and more recently at Art Basel Hong Kong and Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair. He is a significant artist with much to say about painting, the act of painting and contemporary culture.”
As a painter’s painter who explores the authorial voice and indexical trace of mark-making, Dale Frank investigates the metaphysical potency of the painting process through an emphasis on gesture, alternative materials, and pictorial space. He emphasizes the temporal and physical process of artistic creation. Within this series, Frank alludes the ghostlike presence of the artist in contemporary painting and the circuitous relationship between a painting, the physical connection to the one who made it, and the effectual connection to the artist as author.
“Painting presents both the artist’s life-ness, and liveliness in the form of a material object, which is not reducible, and that non-reducibility might be its special attraction. Painting’s capacity to appear saturated with the life and the labour time of the artist, while remaining distinct from it, makes it the ideal candidate for value production in the new economy: the contemporary experience that is busy absorbing life. Indeed, painting could be perceived as a demonstration of how value is founded on something concrete — the living labor and the life of the artist. Painting seems to be the last place where the desire for a concrete foundation of value seemingly gets fulfilled.”
Dale Frank is one of Australia’s most preeminent and influential painters. He has exhibited widely both locally and internationally for over thirty years. Recent major exhibitions include; Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990’s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2017); Shut Up And Paint, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2016); Dancing Umbrellas, curated by Sue Crammer, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2016); Luminous World, National Art School, Sydney (2016); and Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2015).
Frank was chosen to exhibit in Dark Heart, curated by Nick Mitzevich, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2014. In 2013, his work was included in Personal Structures at the Palazzo Bembo of the 55th Venice Biennale and three Biennales of Sydney (1982, 1990 and 2010). His work was also displayed in Contemporary Australia: Optimism at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008). A retrospective of his work was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2000. In 1984, Frank was selected to exhibit in the Venice Biennale's Aperto section as well as the Junger Europaischer Maler (Young European Painters) section in the exhibition, Europe-Amerika: 1940 to the Present, at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Frank's work is included in every major museum collection in Australia in addition to numerous global art institutions, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Kunsthaus, Zurich.