my make believe collection :: 20 :: frances stark

Contributor post by Lisa Solomon

frances stark, bird and bricks, 2008, collage

i was at an art collectors house the other day oohing and ahhing over a home filled with art when i noticed a frances stark piece on the wall - and i thought OH ! i like her work. still like her work. she's a smart artist...


frances stark, blooming, 2004, carbon transfer and collage on casein on canvas
i always tell students that using text in a meaningful and "good" way in artwork is something that i think is a daunting task. in my mind there are very few artists/works that utilize text well - and by well i mean in a way that does seem superficial or haphazard or superfluous. perhaps it's because she's also an accomplished writer - so there's an inherent understanding of text and how it functions in our brains/society....

frances stark, 2004, free money, ink, gouache, casein on canvas
when i think of artist to show that i think use text exceedingly well - i always return to frances stark. i think partially because the text in her work is so INCORPORATED - it can be function [as in you should read it] and it can also be playful - a means to make a mark and fill up space.

i also think that she uses collage in an interesting way. in my mind collage often leads to a piling on - the use of a lot of different kind of papers in new and semi-surreal contexts.

frances stark, in and in, 2005, junk mail and linen tape on paper
and while, yes, this is true in frances' work - i gravitate to her use of collage because the negative space is just as important as the actual collage. it's no secret that i'm a fan of expansive white/plain areas. areas of rest - and stark's work has that in spaces [and in compositions that make me pause].

frances stark, and brrrptzzap the subject, 2005, gesso and collage on paper

her work can be graphic, witty, tongue in cheek. it feels impeccably crafted. P R E C I S E. [i love a good use of an xacto knife.]

frances stark, a woman and a peacock, 2008, mixed media on canvas
 her newer work is larger. incorporates mixed media in a way i find exciting.

frances stark, butterfly sculpture, 2008, fabric, foamcore, mixed media on canvas
 i LOVE the cut out and the use of fabric in the piece above. it's so simple. but not.

frances stark, by way of digression, 2007, paper collage, graphite on paper
 i am also drawn to her use of women - and her interest in what is domestic. on her website it states:

Through both writing and visual art, Frances Stark addresses the conditions of creative labor, producing candid and affecting work about the nature of artistic practice and the corresponding yet integral banality of the everyday. The artist’s body of work stands as a self-reflexive inquiry into the process of artistic production, and the often-elided demands of daily life.

frances stark, i must explain specify rationalize classify etc, 2007, vinyl, paint, laser print on paper

so if i were to choose a piece for me? i think i'd have to go with the above. i feel like that could be me on a chair [on wheels - yes not the safest] with my trusty level trying to straighten out something that is slightly off and contemplating if the "offness" is actually essential to the meaning of what i'm trying to do or if in fact it needs to be in a perfectly straight line. it's so simple and poignent and what i would want in my home. 

until next time - follow my collection as it grows [20 pieces !] on pinterest.

Jan Halvarson


wendy said...

always love these posts. i find is so interesting to read about how Lisa see's other artist's work!

lisa solomon said...

thanks wenders ;)

Anonymous said...

ditto from me about these posts. I learn a lot about other artists' work. I LOVE some of Stark's pieces...especially the woman and the peacock!

√Čireann said...

I got to see FS's work (and meet her, by accident) in Nottingham last year! I love hearing from you, Lisa.