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For August, Joseriberto Perez, Olivia Ramos, and Jeffrey Millett, contribute their discussion about their practice. Conversations also extend to local work, this month being Guccivuitton's exhibition of sculptures by Chayo Frank, and Jenna Balfe's performance People/Trees/Here.
July 11, 2014
Kennedy Park, Coconut Grove
(David Bennet, Cristalle Caceres, Bhakti Baxter, Ganesha Michael Shapiro, Jenna Balfe, Dennis B. Fuller, Doug Webber, Mauricio Abascal, Katie Stirman, and Ewa Josefsson)
June 28 - August 09, 2014
GUCCIVUITTON: PRESS RELEASE
Guccivuitton is proud to announce Chayo Frank: Sculptures, 1969 - 2012. This exhibition is a survey of abstract ceramic sculptures beginning with his early output in the late 60s through to his re-entry into artistic practice in the early 2000s and on to the present day.
In 1967, Chayo Frank graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in architecture. His father, owner of Amertec-Granada Inc., offered the recent grad a dream opportunity: to design and build the company's office building. At age 23, fresh from having studied under master innovator of American organic architecture, Bruce Goff, unburdened by fear, yet fully aware of the pragmatic necessities of his father's business, Frank set off to build the Amertec Building, which is now widely considered to be a hidden, yet truly unique architectural landmark of Miami. Completed around 1969 and constructed utilizing a building technique that involves spraying concrete over "metal cages" of curved reinforcing bars and wire mesh, Frank's Amertec Building is an uncompromising bio-mechanical assemblage of inverted anatomical appendages, ribbed conduits, psychedelic swirls and ocular accents.
During the construction of the Amertec Building, Frank also began sculpting in clay which he found intuitive for exploring the abstract in three dimensions. At times, Frank used the traditional technique of glazing and firing his sculptures, but soon found that with painting the surface and adding extraneous elements as ornamentation he was able to give an individualist breath to the works, reminiscent of flora and fauna. Like his approach to the Amertec building, the most prominent feature that dominates his sculptural output throughout the years has been a studied and playful commitment to bio-organic forms. In any given work by Frank, one notes a rhythmic, often melodic methodology, creating an anatomical logic that would lead one to perceive them as an individualistic organisms, with mysterious yet vitally functional limbs, centers of sentience and sensory organs akin the exoticism found in Indonesian sea slugs.
While sharing affinities with other 20th century pioneers of organic aesthetics such as Gustav Klimt, Antoni Gaudí, Max Ernst and Javier Senosiain, along with 70s Sci-fi illustration artists like Dan McParlin, H.R. Giger and Chris Foss, to ceramic sculptors like Ron Nagel and Ken Price, Frank's work is divergent and unique in its exploration of tropicality. Distancing himself from any conceptual discourse or narrative, tropically is the one theme that Frank openly assigns to his sculptural entities. Being a Miami resident since the 60s, Frank has immersed himself in the tropical flora and fauna that can exist here in South Florida and it radiates from the curves, crevices, colors and organelles in his sculptures. This lifelong romance with and exploration of tropicality is what contextualizes Frank as an essential, though often overlooked, innovator of aesthetics and form here in South Florida and makes his oeuvre ripe for re-examination.