Natalie Frank “The Brothers Grimm”

The Drawing Center

poster for Natalie Frank “The Brothers Grimm”
[Image: Natalie Frank "Cinderella II" (2011-4) Gouache and chalk pastel on paper, 22 x 30 in. Courtesy of the Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin; Promised gift of Kathleen Irvin Loughlin and Chris Loughlin.]

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Since completing her M.F.A. at Columbia University in 2006, Natalie Frank has been making a name for herself with energetic, visceral paintings that boldly embrace the liminal space between figuration and abstraction. A virtuoso painter and draftswoman, Frank is unique among her peers in her willingness to employ the traditional mediums of painting and drawing in the service of taboo themes. Focusing on the dialogue between flesh and spirit, the artist explores, in her own words, the parallel poles of “longing and desire but also disgust and fascination” that constitute humanity.

At The Drawing Center, Frank applies her visual and psychological acumen to that most evocative and misunderstood of literary forms, the fairytale—specifically the original, unsanitized stories transcribed by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm between 1812 and 1857. Only a few contemporary artists have worked within the fairytale genre; fewer still have systematically interrogated the complexity of these tales and the way in which they address social and sexual mores that continue to have relevance today. Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm presents twenty-five drawings out of a total of seventy-five that Frank completed over a period of three-and-a-half years between 2011 and 2014. The drawings are made in gouache and chalk pastel—the first time that Frank has worked exclusively in this medium—producing both gritty and luminous surface effects. Engaging the intersection between body and mind, reality and fiction, the series can be seen as a contemporary feminist reimagining of a symbolist legacy.

Curated by Claire Gilman, Senior Curator.



from April 10, 2015 to June 28, 2015
Panel discussion at the Brooklyn Museum on April 30 at 6:30pm.

Opening Reception on 2015-04-16 from 18:00 to 20:00


Natalie Frank

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