olsen irwin gallery
Minimalism to modernism:
jan frank's painting for australia
paintings and drawings, september 2012
"I think as a New York based painter, to fully understand Australian painting, one has to rediscover the importance and validity of modernism, I did, and am very happy for it." — Jan Frank NYC 2012
Jan Frank was born in Amsterdam in 1951 and he first exhibited in New York in 1977. His works can now be found in numerous public museums and private collections and he exhibits widely throughout the United States and Europe. This will be his first exhibition in Australia.
Throughout his career, Frank's study of the female nude has coincided with his investigation and appropriation of the line within the Abstract Expressionist tradition. The organic, winding lines in these artworks recall Willem de Kooning's fragmented figures. Frank also cites the strong, early influence of Piet Mondrian, whose compositions taught him to value both positive and negative space. For the Australian collector one can draw reference from the palette of Ian Fairweather and the touch of Tony Tuckson. Whilst acknowledging the deep art historical roots that anchor Frank's practice, the art historian B.H. Friedman believed that "Whatever his influences...Frank is clearly an independent and original artist who celebrates important contemporary traditions leading to his unique images."
The seminal publication Art in America reviewed Jan Frank's exhibition at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City and named it at number 3 in the 'Top Ten in Painting' exhibitions in America last year.