Dale Frank Biography

Controversial and uncompromising in his penchant for offbeat and confrontational gestures, Australian contemporary artist Dale Frank has divided critics and public alike over the past three decades. His practice is wide-ranging—from documentary films to eccentric performances—but today Frank is best known for his large-scale biomorphic abstract paintings and reflective resin paintings that challenge traditional notions of the medium.

Read More

Beginning to attract attention while still in his teens in the late 1970s, Frank spent ten years in Europe and the United States, returning to Australia in 1988. The beginning of his career was dominated by performance-based work; a notable early example took place in the late 1970s in Italy, where gallery-goers were presented with the then-teenage artist's legs and leather shoes dangling through a hatch in the ceiling.

Later in his career, Frank began exploring sculpture and installation and, eventually, painting. His current painting method involves pouring and brushing on several layers of thick varnish and colour pigments or clear resin, which sometimes embed colour glitter and studio detritus. These distinctive paintings do not depict anything identifiable, but rather are an exploration of different materials, movements and colours. Occasionally, he also includes readymade and industrial elements, such as construction foam, automotive paint, brightly coloured artificial hair (Dale dug another hole [2017]) or silver foil air-ducts (She was a collector of the best Art even though she relied on Emirates points to maintain her lifestyle [2018]). Given their unusual materials, Frank's paintings are not static objects; the materials can settle, react and produce structural changes even once they have left his studio. In recent years, the artist has replaced his usual canvas surface with Perspex, its reflective nature adding another layer to the work.

Provocative titles are often important to Frank's paintings, for example: Roslyn is the difference between Qantas gold and platinum or He always bought funeral insurance for all his boyfriends (both 2018). Sometimes the titles themselves are lengthy, self-contained narratives, with no apparent connection to the works to which they are attached. These lengthy interludes disrupt attempts to read specific meanings into the paintings themselves.

Interactive performance and installation remains an important part of Frank's career. In 1995, in lieu of showing paintings, the artist staged a disco—including fog machines and a mirror ball—at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney, and titled the exhibition Dale, I'm only dancing. For his 2018 installation Ghost Story at the same gallery, Frank covered the walls and ceilings in reflective Mylar fabric lit with LED lights and presented petri dishes containing his personal bacteria, which grew into a dangerous state in agar.

Dale Frank was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, in 2002. He was selected for the Biennale of Sydney in 1990 and 2010, and in 1984 he was included in the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale. His works are held in major private and public collections worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Kunsthaus, Zürich; and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2005, Frank was awarded the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize from Bendigo Art Gallery.

Michael Crooks | Ocula | 2018

Dale Frank
featured artworks

View 270 More
Jacob by Dale Frank contemporary artwork painting
Dale Frank Jacob, 2023 Colour pigments and translucent dye in epoxyglass, epoxyglass, on Perspex
200 x 200 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Request Price & Availability
get out of here, cant you hear my little the dogs yapping in the background by Dale Frank contemporary artwork painting
Dale Frank get out of here, cant you hear my little the dogs yapping in the background, 2023 Colour pigments in epoxyglass, epoxyglass, on Perspex
200 x 100 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Request Price & Availability
get out of here, your love you express is based on a valid passport by Dale Frank contemporary artwork painting
Dale Frank get out of here, your love you express is based on a valid passport, 2023 Colour pigments in epoxyglass, epoxyglass, on Perspex
100 x 200 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Request Price & Availability
get out of here, I have had bigger on a year 7 class field trip to a graveyard by Dale Frank contemporary artwork painting
Dale Frank get out of here, I have had bigger on a year 7 class field trip to a graveyard, 2023 Colour pigments in epoxyglass, epoxyglass, on perspex
100 x 200 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Request Price & Availability
View 270 More

Dale Frank
current & recent
exhibitions

View 18 More
View 18 More

Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

View 18 More

Dale Frank in
Ocula Magazine

Learn more about the market for works
by Dale Frank.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell

Dale Frank in
Ocula Advisory

Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Dale Frank
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login