Frank Owen

French and Company

Frank Owen submitted himself to a gimmick in his paintings. He has evolved a complex means of creating aurora borealis-like bands of many colors by partially mixing viscous acrylic pigment so that discrete colors still show when the paint is poured and spread slowly on canvas. The effect is reminiscent of the marbled interiors of old book covers. It is often very beautiful, but so domineering that Owen has difficulty conveying much beyond it. He does attempt to change the look of his paintings by varying the colors from strident combinations using a lot of white to predominantly black mixes. In the one dark work of this nature he also changed the surface from its usual taffy-smoothness to cracks and fissures similar to Poons’s most recent work.

The paintings are most frequently organized by a simple zigzag pattern that reflects the nervous jumping of the color within it. The zigzags run

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.