Jan Frank's five large abstract paintings on view in this show are about light and air, rhythm and movement. In recent years, the Dutch-born, New York artist has painted on large pieces of plywood, only partly covering the expansive areas of wood grain in energetic brushwork of black-and-white and flesh-colored tones. One large (96 x 144 in.) example, titled Skip Away, is on view here. More recently he has introduced a wide range of colors into his work. Painting on abutting pieces of archival cardboard mounted on stretchers, he establishes interconnecting networks of slashing and meandering lines and rounded shapes. They are akin to the cell-like components with which his friend Chuck Close composes his large vivid portraits.
In works such as Elegant Dreamer, and the aptly titled Mr. Sinatra, Frank demonstrates the rhythmic possibilities of paint and line. Gorgeous though the work may be, the artist aims to push painting beyond lyricism. Goodbye Bill is more than a heartfelt homage to a fellow Dutch expatriate. The swirling masses of wild, de Kooningesque pink and yellow brushstrokes in this work are part of Frank's exploration of his own relationship to the New York School and to the entire history of abstract painting.
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