Friday, March 4, 2011

Basil Colin Frank

Born Cape Town. South Africa. 1964 Art class studied Bauhaus under Mr.Hoekstra of the Ryksakademie. B A Michaelis School Art, University Cape Town 1971.1972-3 Postgraduate Studies Sculpture - St. Martins College of Art , London under Caro and King. 1985- Diploma specialized welding, Tass School of CapeTown, South Africa. 1985 Photographed Joseph Beuys erecting his installation "Plight",Anthony D'Offay Gallery, London. Lives and works in Jerusalem. -Writes poetry, & on art.

Basil Frank's early work and student work was grounded in minimalism and post-minimalism. He did serial work, clean and restrained in his native South Africa and later in the 70s when studying in London at St. Martin's, was influenced by Anthony Caro's concrete formalist sculpture, which was a dominant force at that time. In South Africa, Frank was politically active opposing the regime ruled by a racist principle. I mention this because the direction his work took was expressionist in character and more literary and political in content, and is definitely closer to action painting and junk sculpture than to clean minimalist sculpture. In spite of the fact that his minimalism was closer to post-minimalism from the outset, i.e. softened somewhat and made the sculpture more complex. And yet, only in the 80s under the influence of Joseph Beuys, a conceptual-social sculptor whom he has met, Frank could see a way to give vent to his literary conceptual and political concerns and bent. He came up with an important series of collages, the "Blackboard" series., Frank's plastic work has assumed its own character. This includes the series like "UmbilicalAfrica,", "Head" and works made in reaction to the Gulf War experienced in Israel in 1991. This body of work, to my mind, should be noted for its bold inventive and imaginative use of method and means. Suffice to read the list of materials and techniques of almost any work to make this point clear; "Arrow" for example (1993/94) a wall piece (made after the aforementioned Gulf War) lists copper, chains, paint, canvas, woodbase, mirror, neon, copper wire, and glass. This is typical. These mixtures of materials and ready-made industrial objects (chains, bottles, pipes, etc.) express and bridge between the industrial, political, cultural or ecological and present an emotional reaction to a multi-systemic reality. This is a multi-cultural and material world the complexity and absurdity of which, as well as the potential power of destruction and/or salvation it contains, can best be seen or experienced in art, and in the state of a multi-media Junk-art object like Frank's. This object is Frank's advanced or enhanced neo-collage and conceptual assemblage. (excerpts: Dr.Michael Sgan-Cohen,1997).


"Communications Astral"
Plaster, Chain, Twigs
Site:Cape Town,South Africa

"Structures I, II, III, IV, V (Aliens)"
1971,.pipes 5cm diameter,oildrums 75cm
Oil Drums, Metal
Site: The new harbor area, Cape Town,South Africa.

"Fertility Spiral"
powder coated cast aluminium About fertility Afrika umbilical cords ,navitas ,mortuus

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