A great Australian talent. For over five decades Dale Frank has gathered momentum in the art world. His paintings, abstract and for the most part, focused on manipulating liquid pigments, now hang in Gruin Gallery, Los Angeles for a solo exhibition Artist!
Hailing from Singleton NSW, the works within Artist! were made with Frank's Hambledon Hill property in mind. Dale Frank has spent the better part of a decade cultivating a privately-owned 50-acre large dry Botanic Garden. After a break in drought, Frank witnessed firsthand the changes this uptick in water had on the local landscape, and these observations emerge in the colour-drenched surfaces of this exhibition.
Even still, this is not the first place the mind wanders upon looking at Artist! Renown for his sprawling tongue-in-cheek titles that present characters and their mundane daily struggles, there's a tension between the name and the molten, roiling landscapes before you. Somewhere between representation and giddy abstraction. It's like Dale Frank said, "In a way you never know what the work is, conceptually speaking". You must trust in your own ability to see. Draw your own conclusions from the work as it presents itself.
“I like that painting can seduce, that the content can be provocative, sublime, and aggressive at the same time," Dale Frank said. "You never know what you are looking at. The reflective surface is like escapism; it shows the image of something that happens somewhere else. The work in its pure form, it could be said, exists only when you are NOT looking at it."
The colours of Artist! are energetic, yet restrained by sombre streaks of inky black and layers of burnished yellow and beige. There's a satisfying air bubble-like texture that ruptures the otherwise calm whirling mass.
Dale Frank Artist! is open at Gruin Gallery, Los Angeles until March 31. See it now, between Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm.