"On entering the dark space, and within that space, the viewer sees the jewels in focus, and leaving the space, the jewels become impressed upon the mind as a residual image that never leaves the mind." — Dale Frank
Hong Kong—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Dale Frank entitled When his wife went away on her frequent business trips Alex would often wear nothing but Huggies disposable nappies around their apartment.
Probing the ontological qualities of art, Frank considers painting as an open form for expressing a tactile state that is not bound by worldly events or authorship of individuals. Running contrary to the belief that art should be made for human viewing, Frank argues that artworks should point out how they can act and exist in their own right to achieve an ideal physical state that can go beyond the realms of human perception. For time may be the only element that governs the making and reception of art.
Frank states the importance of time in his artwork: "Time is just a material I use and must master, as with paint. Time is context. Time is a physical, solid property. Time is as fluid as gravity and varnish, but as regulated as concrete. Time is the only constant material I use across all other mediums in my work. Time is the agenda and completion of lists that marks out both the individual works and the life of an artist."
The guiding principle for Frank's art practice from the early 1970s to the present is not to follow any set rules. Opting to work in an open and cyclical format with film, painting, sculpture, performances and drawing, his modus operandi is to use different means at his disposal to dismantle set notions of art and to encourage us to use our subconscious as something temporal and as the basis of experiencing art.
In his paintings, Frank continues to interweave various modes of abstraction by embracing the full chemical and physical transformative process of the medium. While he engages in the physical process of creating the works using thoughtfully considered movements and epoxy paint on a flat reflective surface, he believes artworks are in essence unique psychological portraits with a lifespan of their own. His recent paintings enact biological and chemical processes that are analogous to synaptic and molecular experiments. Like living beings, the painted surfaces continue to flow and rupture. Frank remains unsure of their outcome, but he is always faithful with his process and formal decision making. Furthermore, the use of Perspex as the base material for his paintings creates a reflective surface to disorient the viewer with displaced imagery, alluding to the fact that we are forever being trapped by ourselves by what we see. Frank claims, "Painting should formally create a kind of schizophrenia among the mediums and aesthetics, an abstract conceptual schizophrenia." The work in its pure form exists only where you are not looking at it, for it is the afterimage in the viewer's mind where the work lies. It follows that paintings function as an ambivalent experience of psychic isolation, bringing out the fatalistic nature of artworks yet desiring empathy in return.
With respect to the creative impetus of the artist, the exhibition addresses the slippages among different narrative structures, knowingly the visuality of the paintings on view, the loose narratives of seemingly unrelated and substantive titles of Frank's paintings, and lastly the fragmented kaleidoscopic imageries from the film Julien's pineapple made in 2017 by Frank. Upon entering the exhibition space, viewers will be able to hear charged sound from a video on display. One has no choice but to internalize the experience as one of palpable isolation and to delve into one's inner soul to respond to the artworks on view.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.
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