Nahmad Contemporary is pleased to present Gangster of Love / Crushed, a solo installation of thirty-two ink drawings by the New York artist, Jan Frank, encircling a single sculpture by John Chamberlain. The exhibition will run from June 25, 2014 through July 26, 2014.
“John and I had a relationship for almost 25 years, always with the idea of showing together. Upon viewing his last show at Gagosian Gallery, NYC (2011). I was prompted to title and dedicate to him a large series of drawings I was about to embark on, positioning me to twist the lines to compress a form akin to the totem. In the “Crush” series for John Chamberlain, I found the sculptures produced for John’s last show so elegantly monumental, that homage to his work felt so honorable, and this reflection injected a sculptural glamour into my drawings; it gave me a new step.
These works were destined for three international shows, and posted on December 20, 2011. However, upon learning of John’s passing the following day, I instinctively had them sent back immediately. It felt only natural that they be shown together as a group. This exhibition brings to fruition my wish for a totality of this series to be shown in a manner which seems apt.”
– Jan Frank
Over the course of a year, Jan Frank created these drawings on Dutch linen paper using ink, drafting tape, and commercial correction fluid. As art historian and Pollock biographer B.H. Friedman once described, Frank “chooses to veil the imagery” by adding white out to obscure sections of each drawing. Curator Dominique Nahas described this give-and-take process of adding medium and obscuring imagery as “a singular synthesis of deliberate method and high-risk intuition. By allowing impulsive strokes to occur, even to fail, everything that happens remains; nothing is eliminated.” The resulting works walk a fine line between literalism and abstraction.
Informed by Frank’s life-long studies of the female nude and his appropriation of the line within the Abstract Expressionist tradition, the organic quality of his works call to mind Willem de Kooning’s fragmented figures, draw upon Mondrian’s sense of positive and negative space, and suggest a Pollock-rooted randomness. Rich with art historical evocations, Frank masterfully navigates a multitude of form and aesthetic to create his unique compositions.
Jan Frank was born in Amsterdam and lived in the Congo before his parents immigrated to the United States. He is a minimal abstract painter and draftsman and lives in New York City. Frank’s works are in numerous public and private collections and he exhibits widely throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. The artist recently completed three major shows at: Paul Kasmin, NYC (2011), Olsen / Irwin, Sydney, Australia (2012), and his European gallery, The Merchant House, Amsterdam, Holland (2013).