Neon Parc acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung as the Traditional Owners and sovereign custodians of the Country on which we operate. We pay our deepest respects to their Elders past and present. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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Dale Frank
‘Cynthia’s Ovaries swelled to the size of Grapefruit’
South Yarra
5 Oct.–4 Nov.

Neon Parc is pleased to announce a major solo exhibition of new paintings by Dale Frank, to be held over two of the gallery’s locations in Brunswick and South Yarra. 

For the artist’s eleventh solo project with the gallery, Cynthia’s Ovaries swelled to the size of Grapefruit reveals a powerful evolution of Frank’s honed technique and traces his development using translucent dye, in concert with various resins. In these new paintings vivid colours ranging from fluorescent blues to pastel pinks oscillate between tiny flecks of colour and large opulent spills. The viscosity of the ink differs from the powdered pigments Frank has previously used, allowing colours to bleed and bloom within the picture plane. These frozen gestures feel as though the audience has caught them mid-flight, as the transparent dyes seem weightless – suspended in the thick layers of resin which give the paintings immense depth and physicality.

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A prolific maker with a decades-long commitment to abstraction, Dale Frank’s oeuvre is defined by a remarkably experimental approach to painting. The parameters within which he works—decisions surrounding colour, gesture and technique—are problems that can only be solved through the process of making and rigorous investigation. In asking those questions for over 40 years, one wonders—are they still problems, or is the process quite as effortless as it looks?

Dale’s psychologically charged artwork titles are known for their ribald, offensive, mundane and domestic nature, which add a new lens to viewing, further implicating the audience in the consumption of the work. Frank is interested in catching people in this moment of bewilderment—as they search the abstract swirls and textures of his full and luminous paintings for meanings and analogies offered via broken narratives. “Cynthia’s Ovaries swelled to the size of Grapefruit” is at once a rumour, a warning, an old wives tale and a colloquial quip, hinting at the complex interiority Frank’s paintings inhabit. 

Again and again, Frank succeeds at finding new ways to provoke and astonish his viewers as alongside his search for mystique, is a long-held pursuit of beauty. Each painting in “Cynthia’s Ovaries swelled to the size of Grapefruit” is unique in its’ character, and constructs an incredible ecology of light, reflection and vibration. Glistening hues and rivulets captivate us and subvert our expectations through detailed topographies. Layers of translucent pigments inhabit the paintings like fertile algae, some marks are manipulated while still drying, others are droplets of glowing ink which seep outward from the centre. 

Biography Dale Frank

Dale Frank is one of Australia’s most preeminent and influential artists. Exhibiting internationally since the 1980s, Frank has shown at prestigious institutions, including MoMA PS1, New York (1981), Biennale of Sydney (1982 and 2010), 42nd Venice Biennale (1983 and 1984). Recent selected group exhibitions include Unpainting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2017-18); Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990’s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2017); Dancing Umbrellas, curated by Sue Cramer, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2016); Dark Heart, curated by Nick Mitzevich, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2014); Mix Tape 1980s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); and Les Arts De L’effervescence Champagne, Musée des Beaux Arts de Reims, France (2013). In 2013, his work was featured in Personal Structures at the Palazzo Bembo as part of the official program of the 55th Venice Biennale. A major solo retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney in 2000. Frank’s work is held in all major Australian state galleries, and a number of regional and university collections. It is also held in international collections, including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, New Zealand; Musée de Ville de Leige, Leige; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Zurich Kunsthaus; and a number of corporate collections.

A major monograph on the last ten years of Frank’s art practice will be published and available before the end of 2023. An 100-minute feature film shot over the last three and a half years, is scheduled for cinema release with Australian and International Distribution at the beginning of 2024.