Groping for the Elephant: Modern Abstract Paintings by Fran Shalom

Balancing the formal with the playful
September 24, 2021

We love these paintings from Fran Shalom’s show, Groping for the Elephant. Fran’s work is always so surprising. She considers herself a modernist painter, and they do have a kind of hard-edge quality, but it’s modernism with a big twist and always a sense of humor. There’s something odd and eccentric coming through that is always just surprising and pure Fran. 


One of the things I love about her work is the bold color. The other thing I love about the work is that she combines a kind of flat surface with painterly parts that are so tender as opposed to the strong backgrounds.


All the shapes are extremely eccentric. We think they’re based on some real object, but we don’t know what that might be or how that applies. But in every one of these pieces, we can put our own sense of wonder in them. There are always these decisions you see her making that are surprising and very individual.