Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Groping for the Elephant, an exhibition of thirteen new paintings by artist Fran Shalom. The show will be up from September 16th to October 23rd.
I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility and a penchant for improvisation.
My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be).
The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent, humorous conversation.
In writing about my work, art critic John Yau said, “Can we see things for what they are, even if we cannot name them, cannot in that regard have dominion over them"?
I love that statement for it speaks to ambiguity and being comfortable with not knowing. In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate”.
It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.