Natalie Frank has been making a name for herself with intuitive paintings that boldly embrace the space between the figuration and abstraction of the Grimm Brothers’ tales by using the traditional medium to explore taboo themes within the stories. Her show Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm starting Thursday, April 16th at The Drawing Center presents twenty-nine drawings out of a total of seventy-five that Frank completed between 2011 and 2014.
The drawings are all made in gouache and chalk pastel, which is the first time that Frank has worked singularly in this medium, producing both gritty and bright surface effects. Frank applies her visual and psychological intelligence to the most evocative and misunderstood of literary works. She specifically looks at the original and haunting stories transcribed by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm between 1812 and 1857.
Only a few contemporary artists have taken inspiration directly from fairytales, and fewer still have thoroughly questioned the complexity of these tales and the way in which they address social and sexual mores, that continue to have relevance in today pop culture.