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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Dale Frank

b. 1959, Australia

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.

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
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Featured Artworks

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Absent Uterus by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankAbsent Uterus, 2019 tinted varnish, epoxyglass on Perspex
200 x 150 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
The Lovers by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankThe Lovers, 2019 Human bones reconfigured, refined sugar, blown and cut colour glass, table, perspex cover
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
Allied on-ramp public liquid Nitrogen making machine (urinal for men) by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankAllied on-ramp public liquid Nitrogen making machine (urinal for men), 2019 Ikea stool, plastic topiary ball, solid resin, catheters, urine bags, plastic funnels. Dimension variable
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
the end of a perfect dat by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale Frankthe end of a perfect dat, 2019 HD video with stereo sound, 26 minutes
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
T I N D E R by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankT I N D E R, 2019 HD video with stereo sound, 49 minutes
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
Kosher Berries by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankKosher Berries, 2019 Acrylic, varnish, epoxyglass on perspex
200 x 150 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
Raffa's Kitchen Van by Dale Frank contemporary artwork
Dale FrankRaffa's Kitchen Van, 2019 Sexual intimate lingerie (black), epoxyglass on perspex
160 x 120 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Dale Frank, Dale Frank at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Closed
13 June–6 July 2019 Dale Frank Dale Frank Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, The Like Button at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Closed
13 December 2018–19 January 2019 Group Exhibition The Like Button Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Dystopian Forms at Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong
Closed
27 August–10 September 2018 Group Exhibition Dystopian Forms Pearl Lam Galleries, H Queen's, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Dale Frank at Art Los Angeles Contemporary Ocula Insight Dale Frank at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 26 January 2016

Dale Frank is one of Australia's most celebrated and critically acclaimed artists with a career spanning more than 30 years. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including a retrospective at the MCA in Sydney in 2000. His work is held in the collections of every major public collection in Australia as well as numerous private...

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In Related Press

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The elusive fictions of Dale Frank Related Press The elusive fictions of Dale Frank Art Guide Australia : 19 June 2019

During a career spanning three decades, Dale Frank has worked with multiple mediums including installation, film, sculpture and painting. Most recently he has been spending a considerable amount of time experimenting with painting.

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Dale Frank at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong Related Press Dale Frank at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong ArtAsiaPacific : 8 March 2017

Entering Dale Frank’s solo exhibition at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong was comparable to stepping into a parallel universe where shapes are distorted and luminescent colors reign supreme. It was an alienating yet simultaneously engaging experience that clearly exemplified Frank’s own philosophy toward distancing himself from his works. Once...

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Material world: Dale Frank latest explorations in paint, resin and fire foam Related Press Material world: Dale Frank latest explorations in paint, resin and fire foam Wallpaper* : 27 January 2017

January is usually a relatively quiet month for art in Hong Kong but not so at Pearl Lam’s eponymous Pedder Street gallery where the local gallerist is showing a solo exhibition of 16 works by artist Dale Frank.One of the Australia’s most successful international artists, Frank is renowned for his manipulation of wildly different materials,...

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Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 Related Press Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 The Weekly Review : 14 August 2016

A sculpture in the bathtub, a horse on the couch and a disco in the loo are just some of the ways artworks have been exhibited at what is emerging as Melbourne’s most exciting art fair.The Hotel Windsor is, once again, about to be transformed by SPRING 1883, a high-end contemporary art show to be held as part of Melbourne’s Art...

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