New York

Mary Frank

Zabriskie Gallery

As companions to her decayed and fragmented clay sculptures, Mary Frank’s “Shadow Papers” are gentle, ethereal, extremely intimate works. A shadow paper looks at first like a drawing, but in fact is simply a sheet that has been slit several times with a knife, then hung against a light box. The image that results varies slightly but constantly as one looks at it, in turn becoming bright and dim, formal and casual, tangible and vaporous, according to the vicissitudes of the breeze. No line in these works is actually any broader than a razor blade, but any slit can gape wide open to create an eerie kind of negative shading. Where a curve receding around a body begins to darken in shadow in a standard pencil drawing, it gets lighter in a Frank piece. The effect has something in common with the black contours of nudes in Man Ray’s solarized photographs, but is really even stranger, since one

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