Monday, May 10, 2021

Frank Walter at David Zwirner


"the artist Frank Walter who died eight years ago. He lived in extreme poverty, was the child of a slave owner and a slave, a fragmented identity. He travelled extensively in Europe during the fifties and sixties, where he experienced extreme racism. Afterwards he lived in the Antiguan countryside, intensely interested in questions of ecology and agriculture. He was a pioneer. And he painted over 5,000 paintings! An unbelievable body of work, which has not been seen so far. He also wrote poems, worked in nearly all art disciplines. He was the Leonardo da Vinci of Antigua. " –Hans-Ulrich Obrist"

I wish we could stop picking up the bones and proclaiming vitality, picked from the wreckage, like an archaeological dig waiting on the culture to fall - waiting for hardship to patina into aura. Starts to feel like a celebration of pain. The skeletons are worth more to the natural history museum. "Dominant culture lays the concrete of its social conditions, proclaims "look a dandelion has grown," hangs its photo in our halls as testament to humanity. But it can seem like a testament to the concrete. A mythos of suffering starts to feel like instructions for it."

See too: Alvin Baltrop at Hannah Hoffman