San Francisco

Mary Frank

Rena Bransten Gallery

Throughout her career Mary Frank has struggled to give form to essential dualities: feminine and masculine, birth and death, joy and sorrow, presence and absence, transience and transcendence. Although the impact of her largely figurative work has been considerable, it has seldom been overtly political. Her subjects have been drawn from myth and natural history rather than from human history, that is, until “The Cart Series.”

“The Cart Series” is a group of monoprints on rice paper made in 1985–86. Each print in the series takes the form of a diptych juxtaposing various versions of two images: a flatbed cart stacked with dead bodies and abandoned on a stretch of railway track, and a head-and-shoulders portrait of a person wearing a black-and-white-striped concentration-camp uniform.

The body cart is seen from different perspectives in each print, and the stacked corpses are variously

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