Born in Austin, Texas, 1980; Lives and works in New York, New York
The drawings became this place where I could commit crimes and transgressions, where I could do what I wanted and let go of the idea of painting or drawing from life. — Natalie Frank
Paint, Porcelain And Pulp
Frieze NY 2019
Natalie Frank (b. 1980) is an interdisciplinary artist whose oil paintings, gouache and chalk pastels, paper paintings, and ceramics, focus primarily on the intersections of feminism, sexuality and violence. Across media, Frank’s oeuvre highlights the precarious state of women and their bodies throughout history, particularly in relation to erotic literature and fairy tales, but also within contemporary discourse surrounding such themes as sex work. Frank has produced a number of books in recent years, including O (2018), which visualizes tales from the shocking 1954 French erotic novel, Story of O; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2017); and Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2015). In May 2021, Princeton University Press published Frank’s fifth book, The Island of Happiness: Tales of Madame d’Aulnoy.
In late January, Frank will be the subject of a solo exhibition, Unbound, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (MO), which traveled from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (WI) in 2021; the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. In 2015, the artist was the subject of a solo exhibition, Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, at the Drawing Center, New York (NY), which traveled to the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas, Austin (TX) and the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington (KY).
In 2021, PBS premiered Jarful of Bees, a newly commissioned opera incorporating Frank’s drawings, composed by Paola Prestini and starring Met Opera soprano Eve Gigliotti. Frank previously served as artistic director of Grimm Tales, a production staged by Ballet Austin in Texas, in which she collaborated with artists on producing sets, costumes, animations and textile designs.
The artist’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (TX); the Brooklyn Museum (NY); the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse (NY); the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PA); the Rose Art Museum, Waltham (MA); the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs (NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (NY); and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (CT). In 2004, Frank received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
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