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Dale Frank
b. 1959, Singleton, New South Wales

Dale Frank is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists. Since the 1970s, Frank has enjoyed a successful international career as a conceptual artist. Best known for his vivacious abstract paintings, his multidisciplinary practice spans sculpture, drawing, performance, film, and installation, all of which adhere closely to his experimental approach to new materialities. For decades Frank’s practice has been motivated by his ongoing empirical investigations into the potentiality of painting, finding new abilities and power in painting as integral and crucial to understanding art today.


The concept of reflection in Dale Frank's  paintings:

The reflective surface is like escapism; it shows the image of something that happens somewhere else. The work in its pure form exists only when you are not looking at it. You never know what the work is, conceptually speaking. I oppose the entire idea that artworks exist only insofar as they are available for human viewing. Artworks tend to be more interested in pointing out how they exist, act, and live beyond the realms of human perception, a paradox of sorts given the contrived nature of artworks.  Dale Frank's work likes to observe the society we live in, where everything is individualistic. 

We are trapped in ourselves. As soon as you enter, you are trapped in mirrors, trapped in the paintings, with yourself reflected.

 On the other hand, the painting actually only exists when you are not looking at it.

 The real paintings live life outside the gaze of the viewer and the artist.

Frank's artwork has gained international acclaim, including solo exhibitions at the MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York in 1981 and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 2000.

In 2014 Frank donated 85 works valued at A$4 million to the National Gallery of Australia, which was the most significant gift by a living artist since Arthur Boyd's gift in 1975. 

Gallery director Ron Radford described Franks as "one of Australia's most important painters”.

Over five decades, Dale has wrought a celebrated and notorious career: his biomorphic abstracts, rock-chic installations and signature use of wildly-pigmented varnish have seen his unique opus described as “majestic and strange”.

Best known for his colorful paintings, he also works with sculpture, performance, and installation, all of which adhere closely to his unique mode of biomorphic abstraction. Composed of a series of pours, drips, and marks, Frank’s compositions meld to create images fluctuating between representation and abstraction.

Dale Frank’s paintings radiate playfulness and the joy of experimentation.

Glossy pools of resin arrest an anarchic line; too much colour and texture suddenly cohere in an elegant balance; a gesture hangs isolated before making a kind of sense. Then, seconds later, the movement is on again and the composition falls apart. This is the pleasure of the works: their internal dynamism keeps raising questions, and rewards sustained and repeated looking; the handling of the thick paint brings us back to the process, stimulating our senses of touch and smell as much as our vision. And, to complicate our visceral response, Frank adds free-ranging textual play through his distinctive titles – overlong, meandering, full of arcane cultural and personal allusions.

More recently working primarily on Perspex, Frank hand mixes his own colour pigments into resins which are manipulated through rhythmical 

actions of pouring, scraping, and layering. The resulting works are hypnotic creations that meld conceptualism and materialism, inviting viewers to participate in the performance of their reflective surfaces
Dale Frank  has twice participated in the Venice Biennale, in the Aperto section in 1984 and in the collateral exhibition Personal Structures in 2013. In 2010 he exhibited at the 17th Biennale of Sydney: The Beauty of Distance, Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age. He was recognised with a major solo retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2000, and in 2005 he won the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize from the Bendigo Art Gallery. His work has been the subject of two monographs, Dale Frank, published by Craftsman House in 1992, and So Far: the Art of Dale Frank 2005-1980 published by Schwatz Publishing in 2007. His paintings are held in every major public collection in Australia and in numerous museum private and corporate collections in the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the United States.
Public Collections
ABN Amro, Sydney, Australia
Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, USA
Zurich Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland
Exxon Corp. Collection, New York, USA
Ball State University Collection, Indiana, USA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Musee de ViIIe de Leige, Leige, France
Trans-Art Collection, Milan, Italy
First National Bank of Chicago Collection, Chicago, USA
Westpac Collection, New York, USA
Allen Allen and Hemsley Collection, Sydney, Australia
University of Melbourne Collection, Melbourne, Australia
Tamworth City Gallery Collection, Tamworth, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

National Gallery of New Zealand, Wellington

Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand

Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery, Townsville, Australia

Wollongong City Art Gallery, Wollongong, Australia

Burnie Municipal Gallery, Burnie, Australia

Griffith University Collection, Brisbane, Australia

Darwin Institute of Technology Collection, Darwin, Australia

Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

Philip Morris Collection, Canberra, Australia

IBM Collection, Melbourne, Australia

Shell Australia Collection, Melbourne, Australia

BP Collection, Melbourne, Australia

Monash University Collection, Melbourne, Australia

Chartwell Collection, Auckland, New Zealand

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