Frances Stark -- an artist of doubt
This is Frances Stark’s season. In late October, a 20-year survey of the Pasadena-based artist’s work opened at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, accompanied by a book of her essays, conversations and poetry. The same month, Stark made her curatorial debut at the Hammer Museum with “Houseguest: Frances Stark Selects from the Grunwald Collection,” an exhibition of 46 works on paper, from Kokoschka to Mike Kelley, Hogarth to Hockney. And next month, the USC professor will be among 14 L.A.-based and international artists featured in the Hammer’s sixth invitational exhibition, “All of this and nothing.”
Not bad for an artist whose work often centers on the experience of doubt, and the obstacles impeding creation. “Doubt,” she says, “is almost like a strategy for me, or like a style. It’s a huge motor in my process.”
As her lengthy exhibition record attests, Stark, 43, has actually been extremely prolific, using collage, drawing, video and sculpture. She’s also published two books, not counting the recent MIT compilation. The work emerging from her Chinatown studio is self-reflexive and autobiographical, focused on the acts of looking and making, integrating the verbal and visual, and teasing out connections between her physical body and body of work.
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-- Leah Ollman
Photo: The artist at the Hammer
Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times