Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frances Stark

Perhaps not surprisingly, the recurrent motifs of Stark’s work evoke writing and the activities that often accompany it—from cutting, copying, repeating, and citing to the quotidian realities of sitting at a desk and reading the mail—as do her materials: carbon paper and rice paper, ink, and linen tape. Fragments of language, from blocks of repeated typewritten letters to passages by writers including Emily Dickinson, Henry Miller, and Robert Musil, are arranged on white paper fields in both abstract patterns and recognizable forms including furniture, flowers, and animals. In and In (2005) features dozens of strips of junk mail spliced together and “stacked” in two zigzagging towers as if piled atop a desk: it is a conflation of art space and work space whose subtle allusion to the increasing corporatism of the art world is tempered by its intricate polychromatic delicacy.

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