Dale Frank

Colin Hanks, 2004
varnish on canvas
200.0 x 200.0 cm


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Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney

'Modern Art Paintings for Sale', Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 27 May - 26 June 2004

While Dale Frank's images evoke something of another dimension, of incongruous forms and conceptual abstraction the titles attempt to ground them in a tangible locale (real world). This dichotomy of the local and the surreal reveal an obvious intellectual conceptual approach by the artist. While the plasticity of the paint and the movement of the form appear to take central importance, the ideas and cerebral dexterity through which Frank works construct the beauty of these varnished pools.

  • Colin Hanks

Image courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

View artist profile

With a career as both a performance artist and an abstract painter, Dale Frank’s ability to cross media and experiment with form and different methods of artistic experience has made his work deeply engaging with audiences around the world. Born in Singleton, New South Wales, in 1959, Frank lives and works in the Hunter Valley.

Frank began exhibiting in Australia in the mid-1970s, with periods spent working across Europe and the United States. With over four decades of practice, Frank has had a vastly experimental relationship with conceptual installation and a range of materials. In recent years, varnish and enamel have been mainstays, which he has skilfully manipulated to nebulous forms and surfaces in the colourful, poured paintings for which he has become well known. The final surfaces are sleek and polished, giving a liquid quality to the abstract, brightly coloured forms that lie beneath. Just like his performance art, which often aimed to engage the sense of touch or sound as well as sight, his paintings are visceral and tactile, with great attention paid to form and surface.

Frank’s international exhibiting career began at P.S.1, New York, (now MOMA PS1) in 1981. In 1983 Frank was included in the exhibition Panorama della post - critica: critica ed arte at the Museo Palazzo Lanfranchi in Pisa alongside Thomas Lawson and Anselm Kiefer, curated by Helena Kontova. The following year he was shown in the Aperto section of the 1984 Venice Biennale. In 2000 a twenty-year survey of Frank’s work, Ecstasy – 20 Years of Painting, was mounted at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. 

In 2007 a monograph on Dale Frank was published by Black Inc Books, So Far: the Art of Dale Frank 2005-1980. Frank’s work is held in all major Australian national and state galleries, as well as in the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, New Zealand, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Zurich Kunsthaus.