Frances Stark


At first glance many will be sure to be put off by Frances Stark’s work; another in the long line of artists attempting to thrill the world with blocks of paint and strips of encrusted magazines. But Stark manages to avoid that fate. To truly engross her work one has to look further into the thorough intensity of her pieces. Often she re-iterates the words of Emily Dickinson, Witold Gombrowicz and Henry Miller using snippets, which although do not seem to have particular relevance, work well as a way of stimulating interest. They are often comical and thought-provoking, for example “there will also be things that I don’t like that I don’t like.” A sense of emphasis? Or perhaps a responsive statement. In my opinion, the most engaging part of Stark’s work is the use of repetition. Her piece “The Unfocused Type Of Person” (shown below) is a great example of this.


It is to be read vertically from the left hand side and spells out “the unfocused type of person that dominates the present has begun to assert itself.” It seems we are all getting ourselves into gear. This quote appears thoughtful, with the lexis containing an early 1900 semantic field, thus making them seem well educated. Maybe Stark chose it to present herself in this way. I would definitely recommend someone with patience and an eye for originality to look into Stark’s work, they will not be disappointed.