845 W Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
( scott at westernexhibitions dot com )
Wedensdays thru Saturdays
11am to 6pm
20 to December 19, 2009
Reality, whatever that is
City | Chicago
Art Magazine | ARTWRIT
Frank presents “Reality, whatever that is,” a
show about narrative, and his larger interest in biography.
Frank will modify Western Exhibitions primary gallery with
a wall that bifurcates the space, as he will use half of Gallery
1 and all of Gallery 2 to present two sets of narratives,
one in the form of paintings and the other in pages of his
lifelong “Nicholas Frank Biography” project.
The “Nicholas Frank Biography” has been expressed
as a museum-style exhibition (Milwaukee, 1998) and individual
book pages (ongoing) detailing the history and historical
significance of the output of the artist “Nicholas Frank.”
In all cases, the “author” goes unnamed, presumed
by its third-person perspective to be other than Nicholas
Frank. Book pages are presented singularly, in frames or hand-bound,
generally without benefit of before-page and after-page or
before-chapter and after-chapter context.
The paintings in this show focus on narrative formation, depicting
a sentence that can be read forwards or backwards, or recombined
into different meanings, much like any other group of paintings
one might encounter. Formally, the paintings draw upon Frank’s
fascination with monochromes, Lucio Fontana and a general
interest in the failure of pure states. Taken together, these
five paintings explore subject/audience agreement, meaning-flow,
anticipation and expectations, and reproduction of intent
and experience, along with color, plasticity and objectness.
Nicholas Frank’s primary activities are art making,
including visual art, stage-, recording-, radio- and television-based
performance and writing; and multi-disciplinary art exhibition
coordination, including curation, and facilitation of dialogue
through symposia, lectures and publications. Secondary activities
are commentating, essaying, critiquing and lecturing about
art and Midwestern culture. Frank is currently the chief curator
at the Institute of Visual Arts (Inova), in the Peck School
of Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a founding
member of the Milwaukee International, which organizes miniature
art fairs around the world. Frank has organized, jointly and
solo, exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York City,
the Green Gallery, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts
and the Jody Monroe Gallery (all in Milwaukee) and The Pond
in Chicago. He owned and directed the Hermetic Gallery in
Milwaukee from 1994 to 2001. Frank has written for Sculpture,
Art Papers, InterReview, Bridge, New Art Examiner and Milwaukee
Journal-Sentinel. His work has been included in group shows
at Small A Projects and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise-Passerby
in New York City, Locust Projects in Miami, the Milwaukee
Art Museum, Diverseworks in Houston, and the Soap Factory
in Minneapolis. Solo shows include the Green Gallery (2008),
Suitable (2004), Chicago Project Room (1996) and a forthcoming
exhibition at The Poor Farm in northern Wisconsin (2010).
This is Frank’s second solo show with Western Exhibitions.
He will concurrently have a piece in “Picturing the
Studio” in the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the
Art Institute, curated by Michelle Grabner and Annika Marie,
opening December 12. He lives and works in Milwaukee.