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Fran Shalom: Duck/Rabbit

Curated by Mary Birmingham

Fran Shalom, Flourish, (detail), 2022, Oil on wood, 36x36
October 2, 2022 - January 8, 2023

I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility and a penchant for improvisation.
 
My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be). 
 
The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. As a painter, I am always teetering from one edge of a dialectic to the other: from abstraction to figuration (like so many artists); from ambiguity to obviousness; from clarity to mystery; from additive to subtractive Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent, humorous conversation.
 
In writing about my work, art critic John Yau said, “Can we see things for what they are, even if we cannot name them, cannot in that regard have dominion over them”?
I love that statement for it speaks to ambiguity and being comfortable with not knowing. In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate”.
 
It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.” ~Fran Shalom

About Fran Shalom

Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States in both museums and galleries, including the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge Mass, and the Newark Museum, the Zurcher gallery and Kathryn Markel gallery in New York. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rose Art Museum and the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris. She has been the recipient of a Pollack Krasner Artist Fellowship Grant, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, New Jersey Individual Artist Grant and an Art Omi Residency. 

She is represented by the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York City. 

 

 

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