new-york

Mary Frank

Zabriskie Gallery

The most often reproduced of Mary Frank’s new works has been a standing skirted female that everyone takes for an angel. The piece is untitled, and while it might be said to resemble a winged form, Frank’s ceramic figures are anything but angelic. Skeletal, dismembered, at once harshly angular and sinuously flowing, they are more akin to wickedly sexual satyrs than innocents of any kind. In one small piece and one mask, human faces blend with mythic animal heads; in several of the large pieces, ends of arms and legs spread out into curly-maned hooves instead of hands or feet. And perhaps to relate them to their origins, delicate ferns and spikey leaves have been imprinted in the clay, as if these creatures have been caught in some evolutionary stage, not quite part of the earth or totally separate from it.

The figures are disjointed, separated into many elements in the familiar Frank style.

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? 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 PRINT EDITION of the May 1977 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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