Haynes Galleries • October 10 through November 15
by Jerry C. Waters
Zoey Frank’s creative mission involves exploring various ways in which to render traditional subjects such as the human figure, interior scenes, and cityscapes through a continuous series of painterly experiments. Her latest exhibition, Zoey Frank: Explorations and Discoveries at Haynes Galleries, is an extension of work she produced at the Laguna College of Art and Design, from which she received a master of fine arts degree in painting in the spring of 2014. These paintings reflect Frank’s interest in modernistic expression and differ from her earlier work. Prior to her new series, Frank produced a cohesive group of paintings based on four years of classical atelier training, in the tradition of nineteenth-century European academic art, which she learned at Gage Academy in Seattle, Washington. According to Frank, “My initial interest in painting came from the work of the high Renaissance and Baroque—now I find myself interested in much earlier and much later work as well. It feels like anything is possible.”
Stylistically, her recent works are characterized by gestural applications of pigment and careful attention to pictorial structure. For Frank, “The paintings Section A and B, Girl in Striped Shirt, and Kirsten all felt like important new steps for me in the development of my working process.”
Kirsten depicts a solitary female figure framed by a flat-blue plane, a burgundy-colored chair, a canary-yellow-colored bookshelf, and an empty painting easel. Its surface is a multilayer of thick and thin paint pigment shimmering with contrasting hues. The painting also reveals the artist’s concern with certain design principles; for instance, arrangement of various shapes, spatial relationships, and textural patterns. Frank’s attention to composition is evident in Kirsten—a large-scale canvas measuring five feet in width—through her concern with a rhythmic flow of hard-edge elements played against softly modeled forms, the woman’s face and the sofa. Indeed, this concern is a benefit from her academic training in the classical tradition.
In concert with Frank’s figurative works are small, majestic jewels she created while visiting Israel. Like Henry Ossawa Tanner, who traveled to the Middle East for his Christian-inspired images, and John Singer Sargent, who was stimulated by beautiful Venetian vistas for his fluid watercolors, Frank has captured the unique quality of ancient cityscapes in images that include such historical monuments as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock.
These pictures illustrate Frank’s vision, which she said is to “articulate the visual world more directly, clearly, and personally.” Gary Haynes, owner of Haynes Galleries, believes that Frank is a discoverer who, through her painting experiments, “has the courage to try many things and to push limits” in an effort to reach new heights on her artistic journey and creative exploration.
Zoey Frank: Explorations and Discoveries will be at Haynes Galleries from October 10 through November 15. An opening reception will take place Friday, October 10, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Paul Polycarpou will host a gallery talk on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 9:30 a.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public. For more information visit www.haynesgalleries.com.