Frances Barth Abstract Painting - Court Ceremony (triptych - work in 3 panels)
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Frances Barth
Court Ceremony (triptych - work in 3 panels)

1982

About

BIBLIOGRAPHY Jack Whitten in his book "Notes from the Woodshed" (Hauser & Wirth publishers 2018) refers to Frances Bath as "a good painter"[...]"I like her triangles - they remind me of my use of the triangle as an image other than the pure geometry of the form". (p. 71) and then later again on p. 76: "Frances Barth's paintings were just terricfic at Susan Caldwell's. Frances is a good painter". Frances was born in the Bronx, in New York City, and studied painting at Hunter College. While an art student she also studied modern dance, and saw “The Mind is a Muscle” at the Anderson Theater in the East Village, which led her to take a workshop with Yvonne Rainer, and subsequently to perform in some of Yvonne’s work at Lincoln Center and the Billy Rose Theater in 1968-9, and with Joan Jonas in dance and video in 1970. She lived in a loft on Grand Street and painted in a studio on John St. in lower Manhattan. Around 1970, while in the John St. studio, Frances began working on large horizontal abstract paintings that were involved with ideas of gravity, slow painting time, indeterminate color, and trying to create a complex painting space that appeared geometric, but alternately shifted into a deeper space. The color acted simultaneously as atmosphere and object. In 1972 Marcia Tucker visited the studio and put Barth’s painting “Henning” in the Whitney Museum Painting Annual, where Tony Smith and Doug Ohlson saw the painting, and suggested that Susan Caldwell see the work. Susan began representing Frances’ painting in her gallery, first on Bedford St. and then for many years on West Broadway. By 1980 her painting had shifted to include referential markers and moved to a more evident landscape/mapped space that has a geological narrative. Frances had studied geology and while on a trip to Hawaii heard a Maori “reading” of abstract patterning that chanted a retelling of their voyage. She began thinking of how abstraction could hold meanings and act metaphorically. Court Ceremony was one of these early paintings. “Beginning in the early 1970’s I started investigating ideas in my paintings which would create a pictorial space with multiple perspective points of view. I wanted to find a way to introduce a non-specific narrative to abstraction. These shifting views would direct the viewer’s gaze, creating a hierarchy of meaning that could shift and re-combine. The complex space had attributes of both volume and flatness. The color was “non-determinable,” made from layers of colors that were perceived as optically mixed. The interaction of this shifting space, color and scale, as well as the often large horizontal format, made the paintings have a “slow time,” a breathing presence, and the large horizontality forced the viewer to “read” the paintings from left to right and back again. The color in the paintings involves ideas of local, atmospheric, and abstract color. I want to make natural light as a phenomenon, and abstract color act as light and location in the same painting, creating a believable space and experience that could never have existed in any other way. Trying to simplify the paintings while also continuing to make complex spaces. I scumbled and glaze colors as I have always done to create colors that can only be optically mixed. I continue to use local and abstract color in my paintings. I use depicted light and interior light created by the choice of colors.” EXHIBITED 1983 Frances Barth, Recent Paintings, Susan Caldwell, New York NY

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 62.2 in. x W 216 in. x D 1.5 in.H 157.99 cm x W 548.64 cm x D 3.81 cm
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    LU104414387842
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