Dana Frankfort

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STUFF, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
LINES, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
DISASTER, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
WORD, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
Star of David (orange), 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
Possibly Permanent, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
CRACK, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
BANANAS (gold/silver), 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
BANANAS (purple/gold), 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
A LOT OF STUFF, 2007 © Courtesy the Artist
Blah Blah, 2008 Monotype W/ Handwork 24" X 36.5" © aurobora press
Lush Life Wall Installation, back, 2010 Mixed Media © Pedro Barbeito
YES (Worrying Solves Nothing), 2008 Monotype W/Handwork 24" X 36.5" © aurobora press
Quick Facts
Houston, TX
Birth year
Lives in
New York, NY
Works in
New York, NY
Yale University
Representing galleries
abstraction, text
Dana Frankfort makes gestural paintings based upon the shape and connoted meaning of a specific word or phrase.  These works, at times, appear to be abstract, invoking the pictorial language of such Color Field painters as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.  However, the very literalness of the depicted language in Frankfort’s paintings ground her work in a figural realism that is similar in spirit to Jasper Johns’ flags or targets.  Although Frankfort employs language primarily for formal reasons, it is impossible to ignore the implicit meanings in the words she selects.  This creates a compelling interaction between form and content as the words give the work an internal structure in which she can play with such tensions as foreground and background and pictorial edges and compositional scale.


Recently, Frankfort has expanded her imagery to include representations of the Star of David.  As with her pictures of words the image in these new works is subtle.  The strokes that make up the star, at times, dissolve into the background.  Nevertheless, she gives the viewer enough information to recognize the symbol, which in her handling is both ambiguous and highly specific.  The Star of David paintings along with the other pieces in the “DF” exhibition at Bellwether Gallery (September 8 - October 6, 2007)  raise fundamental questions at the core of painting: when is a work finished, what is the relationship between pictorial edges and the picture plane, and whether or not a painting is an object. 


Dana Frankfort was born in Houston, Texas.  She received her MFA from Yale University and was a Core Fellow at the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas.  She most recently had a solo show at Kantor/Feuer Gallery in Los Angeles.  She will participate in the upcoming exhibition “Abstract America” at the Saatchi Gallery in London. 


2008     (Feb) SorryWereClosed Gallery/Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium

2007     Bellwether, New York, NY

            Word, Inman Gallery, Houston, TX

2006     Believer, Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2005     What's So Funny, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, NY



2007     A New High in Getting Low, curated by John Connelly, Artnews Projects, Berlin, Germany

In Defense of Ardor, Bellwether, New York, NY

Abstract America, The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

Joe Bradley, Ann Craven, Dana Frankfort, & Keith Mayerson, Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, NY

Late Liberties, curated by Agusto Arbizo, John Connelly Presents, New York, NY

Warhol and…, Kantor/Feuer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Post Retro, Brooklyn Fire Proof, Brooklyn, NY

Loneliness and Melancholy, Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT

            I am the Walrus!, curated by David Coyle, Gallery 40000, Chicago, IL

What F Word, curated by Carol Cole Levin, Cynthia Broan Gallery, NY, NY

2006     Scarecrow, Postmasters Gallery, NY, NY

History Lesson: Part III, Gavin Brown Enterprises-Passerby, NY, NY

The Jaundiced Eye: Scope NY, NY, NY

Something and Nothing, Exhibition Dynasty, Gallery MC, NY, NY

Open Network: Brooklyn, Ampersand Int'l, San Francisco, CA

2005     Suggestion, Belief, Emptiness, Jessica Murray Projects, NY, NY

All In The Family, Texas Gallery, Houston, TX

Glimpse, Mixed Greens, NY, NY

Conversational Lag, Volume Gallery, NY, NY

2004     August, Brooklyn Fireproof, Brooklyn, NY

Grotto II, Jessica Murray Projects, Brooklyn, NY

2003     The Light Show, Clock Tower, Brooklyn, NY

2000     New Painting, Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art, Houston, TX

New Work, Rudolph Poissant Gallery, Houston, TX

1999     Red Hot: Painting, Arlington Museum of Art, Fort Worth, TX

Core Fellows, Glassell School Gallery, MFA, Houston, TX



2006      Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship

2005      Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, MI, Artist-In-Residence

1999-00  Core Fellow, The Glassell School of Art, MFA, Houston, TX



1997     Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME

1997     MFA, Painting and Printmaking, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT



2007     Smith, Roberta, “Dana Frankfort: DF”, The New York Times, September 14, E41

Goodbody, Bridget L., “Late Liberties”, Art in Review, The New York Times, August 3

Holliday, Frank, “Abstraction Reconsidered”, Gay City News, July 26

Schwendener, Martha, “Galleries: Chelsea, ‘In Defense of Ardor’”, The New Yorker, June 25, p. 22

Cotter, Holland, “What F Word?”, The New York Times, March 9

2006     Fyfe, Joe, 'What's So Funny', Art In America, February

2005     Smith, Roberta, 'What's So Funny', The New York Times, June 24

McAdams, Shane, 'What's So Funny', The Brooklyn Rail, July

Johnson, Patricia, 'Esprit de Core' , Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX. March 21

1999     Reese, Christine, 'Not Art', Dallas Observer, Dallas, TX June 29

Dewan, Shaila, 'Remaining Calm', Houston Press, Houston, TX. April 8


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