“Kirsten” by Zoey Frank
Haynes Galleries will close another wonderful summer season in Maine with “Zoey Frank: Explorations & Discoveries,” a solo show of new work from the young and supremely talented Zoey Frank. The end-of-season exhibit will be on view from September 4 to September 27 at Haynes Galleries, 91 Main Street, Thomaston.
Frank and her fresh work are a perfect fit for a late summer celebration. At just 27, she is at a significant moment in her young career. She’s participated in numerous group exhibitions at galleries around the country, garnering praise wherever her works are shown. Her work has recently set off in a new direction, the result of completing a Masters of Fine Art in Painting from the prestigious Laguna College of Art + Design (LACD) in Laguna Beach, California. Frank’s show at Haynes Galleries in Thomaston will be her first solo exhibition and it will celebrate Frank and the new paintings she created during her time at LACD.
“I knew from the first time I saw Zoey’s work over three years ago that she was a superstar,” says gallery owner Gary R. Haynes. “Just about every piece that she’s sent me has sold and I could have sold some of them two or three times. She has courage to try so many things and to push her limits. This show has so much complexity, energy and drama. She is truly pushing the envelope and reaching new heights.”
The shift in Frank’s ideology and paintings came from a desire to be more inclusive in her imagery. “With my new work, I wanted my process to feel more immediate and open,” says the artist. Frank often jumps right into her work, painting directly on the canvas and adjusting the composition— landscape, still life or portrait— as she observes changes
Her figurative work, some reaching up to 5 feet in width like Kirsten, is artfully arranged and crafted. Layers of paint from earlier in the process show through, creating a mesmerizing effect Frank has dubbed a palimpsest. Viewers will feel like they lived the same experience and are now reliving it through a hazy memory.
More modest in scale, Frank’s still lifes explore color relationships by infusing bright colors into her otherwise neutral palette. The everyday objects she paints— cyan construction paper, yellow cans, and patterned pink wallpaper— are arranged to complement one another to dazzling results.
A trip to Israel inspired Frank’s group of ancient cityscapes. It was also an opportunity to try one of her favorite kinds of paintings. “I have always been fascinated by unfinished masterworks—they feel open and vulnerable” says Frank, a theme in line with her new figurative pieces. With areas of canvas exposed, these studies of ancient cities seem to ripple in the hot sun, the white stone of the ancient buildings and the harsh desert light washing out details and color.
Frank’s new process is quite the departure from her previous one. Before enrolling at LACD, the Colorado-native completed four years of training at Juliette Aristide’s classical atelier at the Gage Academy of Art. “It was the old historical painters that made me want to be an artist in the first place,” says Frank, “so I knew I wanted to learn from their foundations of painting.” The result was beautifully rendered, highly finished pieces that invoked the Masters and earned Frank many honors.
The impulse to challenge herself led her to LACD and on her current path. Painting ordinary objects and places forces her “to make compelling images without relying on the power of the subjects themselves,” as Frank pointed out. “The process is my only tool.”
Zoey Frank’s explorations over the past two years have led to several discoveries, from how Frank always wants to challenge herself, to a new painting style adopted, and old ones re-embraced. It’s been a period growth. A period of promise. The work in “Zoey Frank: Explorations & Discoveries” is a clear indication of Frank’s bright future and the show is great way to close another memorable summer season.