Mary Frank

England / Usa / °1933 / / / /
According to the great American mythologist and historian Joseph Campbell, artists are a culture’s mythmakers and “Myths are so intimately bound to the culture, time and place, that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.” Mary Frank’s figure sculptures have been described as sensual, sublime, erotic, metaphorical, poetic and profoundly moving. Frank herself has said, “All myths deal with transformations.” It is this view which marks Mary Frank as unique among contemporary artists. At a time when figurative work has not been an artistic imperative, Frank imparts a sense of the timeless and elemental to her work, placing her among the foremost figurative artists of our time.

Frank comes from a humanistic school of sculptural expression and art. Born in London on Feb. 4, 1933, Frank has stated, “I was brought up to be an artist.” She is the only child of American-born painter Eleanore Lockspeiser and Edward Lockspeiser, a prominent English musicologist and art critic. Eleanore is quoted as saying that “art was the only important thing in our household.” Mary Frank remembers her mother as an abstract artist who painted “as if her life depended on it.”

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, Mary was evacuated from London.... This experience of displacement made her vividly aware of being an outsider because her family was both atheistic and Jewish. Prior to June 1940, when their home in London was bombed and all her paintings destroyed, Eleanore took her daughter to live ... in Brooklyn, New York.... Mary saw her father only 4 more times in her life. New York, dance became more important for Mary than painting. She studied modern dance with the legendary Martha Graham...

Largely self-taught, her personal vocabulary of metamorphosis, mythological and evolutionary themes is often expressed at its poetic best in her... (
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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