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Brooklyn Rail: New Social Environment with Mary Frank

Mary Frank: The Observing Heart, exhibition installation image, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY. Photo: Bob Wagner.

Artist Mary Frank joins Rail contributor Andrew Woolbright for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Sarah Passino.

Acclaimed artist and activist Mary Frank has been making art in her Manhattan and Hudson Valley studios for over sixty years. During her formative years she made semi-abstract figures carved from wood and plaster. A shift to clay in the late sixties was a revelation as she discovered an improvisatory process. In the early ’70s she broke into public view with distinctive clay sculptures of the female form. Since then, she has made work in a broad range of media including sculptures in clay, cast bronze, and plaster along with paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs. Her work is powerfully, if obliquely narrative and has always centered on the twin themes of social justice and the preservation of the natural world.

Artist, curator, and critic Andrew Woolbright is based in Brooklyn, New York, and is an MFA graduate from RISD in painting. Woolbright is the founder and director of the gallery Below Grand located on the Lower East Side in New York. In addition to curating, he is a regular contributor to the Brooklyn Rail. In 2021, Woolbright curated the show Density Betrays Us with Angela Dufresne and Cash Ragona at the Hole; and will be curating shows at Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and Hesse Flatow in the summer or 2022. He currently teaches at School of Visual Arts and SUNY New Paltz and is a 2021-2022 resident at the Sharpe Walentas Studio Program in Dumbo.

Their conversation took place on July 5 at 1pm EST.

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