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Frances Barth

DEEPBLUES | PAINTINGS FROM 2019

Winter 2020

Deep Blues

Frances Barth
image banner Deepblues

Jack Whitten in his book "Notes from the Woodshed" (Hauser & Wirth publishers, 2018) refers to Frances Barth 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 terriffic at Susan Caldwell's. Frances is a good painter".

 

 

Large Image
Text intro (image right - Purpleplane)

Frances Barth's accomplished paintings are wholly individualistic and other than to say they are "radical abstractions" (Karen Wilkin), they are eccentric enough to elude classification. Barth refers to aspects of her work as a combination of comic restraint and purist abstraction. Combining contradictory elements of local color with abstract color, vocabularies of both painting and drawing, disorienting spatial relationships, Barth creates works that are as provocatively ambiguous as they are soothingly beautiful. In her desire to "tell stories without words" Barth implies narratives and geographies in a realm between landscape, mapping and abstraction. The narratives in the paintings are stories taking place over a period of geological time, with references both topographic and tectonic, alluding to simultaneous multiple histories. The light that Barth creates within her paintings is a spell-binding presence that shifts the picture plane into a deep dimensional space at the same time that her compositional shifts in scale destabilize. Speaking on her use of color the artist refers to her desire to create "big areas of ungracious color - chemical color that doesn't exist in nature - to open up like the sky but not be sky."

 

image Travel

Barth is working to find a way to introduce non-specific narrative to abstraction while depicting fictive landscapes that allow the viewer to participate. In her work, Barth moves closer to and architectural and natural element in vast space.

- Hamptons Art Hub, Art Unrestricted.

image ZigZag (left side)

Barth is a virtuoso of shifting spaces, gorgeous hues, and subtle surprises. A dedicated abstract painter fascinated by narrative, she is also a maker of award-winning digitally animated films and oblique graphic novels, both of which depend on fine line drawings. Barth’s profound knowledge of the highest of high modernist art coexists with a taste for cartoon-like simplifications and a deep appreciation of the banalities of the New Jersey streets where she lives and works. In her recent show, all of this magically came together. From a distance, her abstract canvases declared themselves in terms of unexpected color relationships and suave shapes calling tensely to one another. From a closer view, we were engaged by nuanced incidents of fragile, tremulous drawing, exquisite surfaces, and ravishing expanses of color, but we also discovered collaged digital fragments, most overtly in five related paintings intended to be read sequentially, like a wordless graphic story. Yet Barth’s classically harmonious canvases are also unsettling. Our relation to the paintings keeps changing. Now we hover at a great distance above them, now we are confronted by something vaguely perspectival, now two-dimensional structure dominates. Barth’s paintings demand that we read them slowly, the way we do complex seventeenth-century canvases, savoring the invigorating tug of war she establishes between assured abstraction and ambiguous, elusive narrative, between the hand and technology, and more.

- Karen Wilkin (The Hudson Review, January 31, 2018)

image ZigZag large

As with Thomas Nozkowski’s cryptic modes of abstraction, Barth’s uncertain terrain is precisely balanced between lucidity and mystery. An absorbing world of imagination might also be a quirky transcription of observable facts. With unerring color harmonics that are as sophisticated and seductive as those of any artist working today, Barth’s paintings are almost soothing despite their unsettled space.

- David Brody, Artcritical December 2017

As with Thomas Nozkowski’s cryptic modes of abstraction, Barth’s uncertain terrain is precisely balanced between lucidity and mystery. An absorbing world of imagination might also be a quirky transcription of observable facts. With unerring color harmonics that are as sophisticated and seductive as those of any artist working today, Barth’s paintings are almost soothing despite their unsettled space.

- David Brody, Artcritical December 2017)

image Large of SEE SAW

"... it's not an overstatement to say that they (Barth's paintings) suggest new possibilities for what abstract painting can encompass in the first part of the 21st century."

-  Karen Wilkin, 2008

Slide-Show

Slide-Show Thumbnails

FRANCES BARTH 

Deepblues (2 panels), 2019

Acrylic on wood panel part carved

24h x 50w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 127w x 3.81d cm)

FB105

Inquire

Installation view

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

Reflections-the Moon (3 panel triptych)

2019 Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 92w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 233.68w x 3.81d cm
FB096

Inquire

installation view

Inquire


FRANCES BARTH
SEE-SAW (3 panel triptych), 2018-19
Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 95 3/4w x 1 1/2d in
60.96h x 243.21w x 3.81d cm
FB095
 

Inquire

installation view

Inquire


FRANCES BARTH
ENIGMA (3 panel triptych), 2019
Acrylic on panels (3 panels triptych)
24h x 86w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 218.44w x 3.81d cm
FB094
 

Inquire

installation view

Inquire


FRANCES BARTH
Stacking (3 panel triptych), 2019
Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 86w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 218.44w x 3.81d cm
FB097
 

Inquire

Installation view

Inquire


FRANCES BARTH
Spreading Sand (2 panels), 2019
Acrylic on wood panel
24h x 60w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 152.40w x 3.81d cm
FB110
 

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

THEA, 2019
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 30w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 76.20w x 3.81d cm) 

FB098

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH
Drop Yellow, 2019
acrylic and gesso on wood panel

24h x 29.75w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 75.57w x 3.81d cm) 

FB102

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH

 Travel (3 panel Triptych), 2019

Acrylic on 3 wood panels

24h x 96w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 243.84w x 3.81d cm)

FB111

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

ZigZag, 2020
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB113

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

Redline, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in (60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB108

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH

Splat, 2020
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB109

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

PurplePlane, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB107

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH

Gentlerecline, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB106

Inquire

Artist Studio

Inquire

FRANCES BARTH 

Deepblues (2 panels), 2019

Acrylic on wood panel part carved

24h x 50w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 127w x 3.81d cm)

FB105

Installation view

FRANCES BARTH 

Reflections-the Moon (3 panel triptych)

2019 Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 92w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 233.68w x 3.81d cm
FB096

installation view


FRANCES BARTH
SEE-SAW (3 panel triptych), 2018-19
Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 95 3/4w x 1 1/2d in
60.96h x 243.21w x 3.81d cm
FB095
 

installation view


FRANCES BARTH
ENIGMA (3 panel triptych), 2019
Acrylic on panels (3 panels triptych)
24h x 86w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 218.44w x 3.81d cm
FB094
 

installation view


FRANCES BARTH
Stacking (3 panel triptych), 2019
Acrylic on wood panels
24h x 86w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 218.44w x 3.81d cm
FB097
 

Installation view


FRANCES BARTH
Spreading Sand (2 panels), 2019
Acrylic on wood panel
24h x 60w x 1.50d in
60.96h x 152.40w x 3.81d cm
FB110
 

FRANCES BARTH 

THEA, 2019
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 30w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 76.20w x 3.81d cm) 

FB098

FRANCES BARTH
Drop Yellow, 2019
acrylic and gesso on wood panel

24h x 29.75w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 75.57w x 3.81d cm) 

FB102

FRANCES BARTH

 Travel (3 panel Triptych), 2019

Acrylic on 3 wood panels

24h x 96w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 243.84w x 3.81d cm)

FB111

FRANCES BARTH 

ZigZag, 2020
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB113

FRANCES BARTH 

Redline, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in (60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB108

FRANCES BARTH

Splat, 2020
Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB109

FRANCES BARTH 

PurplePlane, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB107

FRANCES BARTH

Gentlerecline, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

24h x 36w x 1.50d in

(60.96h x 91.44w x 3.81d cm)

FB106

Artist Studio