Born in London, England, in 1933 Mary Frank moved to the United States with her family in 1940. In the early 1950s she studied with Hans Hoffman and Max Beckmann. Frank works across disciplines as a sculptor, painter, photographer and gifted ceramic artist. Without allegiance to any particular way of working or medium, Frank is fueled by her ever present urge for direct and honest expression. Frank's process begins with some form of abstraction from which she teases out what she describes as a pre-existing time and atmosphere where events can take place. Her recurring imagery act as an alphabet, combined in order to evoke feelings of grief, love, sorrow, ecstasy, mourning and exultation.
Mary Frank has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including a retrospective organized by the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York in 1978; an in-depth look at her Persephone Series at the Brooklyn Museum in 1988; and Natural Histories, organized by the DeCordova Museum in 1988 which traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Everson Museum of Art. In 2000, the Neuberger presented Encounters, a major traveling retrospective accompanied by a book by Linda Nochlin. In 2003, Experiences, a solo exhibition of Mary Frank’s paintings was organized by the Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond. In 1990 a major survey of Mary Frank's work, written by Hayden Herrera, was published by Abrams, New York. Shadows of Africa, a collaboration between the artist and poet Peter Matthiessen, was published by Abrams in 1992.
Frank's work is in the collection of numerous institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC , the Jewish Museum, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, the Newark Museum, NJ, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT. Frank lives and works in New York City and Woodstock, New York.
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Mary Frank in Conversation with David Hornung
January 25, 2020
Mary Frank in Conversation with John Yau, Terry Tempest Williams and Peter Kayafas
December 14, 2017
Mary Frank in Conversation with John Yau
December 12, 2013 at DC Moore Gallery