Wake up! - through this lightning raid of a title in form of an affirmative call to action,
we are indeed invited to a collective enlightenment by the Viennese artist Denise
Rudolf Frank. But, as tempting as this proposition seems, nothing is less certain than
the place of awakening: carried by a great wave, colored, textured, free and
uncontrollable, one reopens the eyes in the heart of the unconscious.
The spontaneity of her works must neither be reduced to a primal naiveté nor to an
improvised gesture. In her canvases, for example in Universe (2021), everything is
talking and the colors, impertinent and honest, seem to scream: creativity is allowed! A
voluntary lack of constraints related to traditional expectations and freedom is implied
in saving accidents and representations, sometimes faithful to the figurative,
sometimes deliciously disloyal to the real.
This result and these impressions are made possible thanks to the frank and sincere
technique of the artist, who applies the paint directly out of the tubes onto the canvas,
using only her hands, no brushes. Trough the confrontation with the material the
artistic exercise is made wilder, more curated and also more lucid. We are not here to
lie to each other, but rather to experience emotions without filters, illustrated feelings
and raw moods.
Precisely this combination of liveliness and emancipation from pre-established codes
still inscribed within the artworld are characteristic for Franks’ works. Bringing together
the Nabi colors, the almost abstract landscapes of Emil Nolde and the impetuous
features of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Maurice Denis' Christ vert sur fond jaune and Tache
de soleil sur la terrasse, for example, share this radicality with Denise Rudolf Frank’s
expression: by color, she transcend and surpass what is expected of forms and usual
In seeking to get us out of a mundane daily routine, her work - raw, powerful and thick
- invites us to a positive loss of control that is almost an act of activism – in any case,
assuming a deep and social thought. ‚Painting to extricate oneself from a system
under pressure‘ could be the motto of the artist. Painting to achieve a state of
detachment, an absence of purpose, to separate one from the current almost
sacralized notion of constant performance. Painting to simply feel and not to always
comprehend. Therefore, painting is experienced as a daily rite allowing to reach this
state of frankness: it is lent to you, at least for the time of a visit - make good use of it.
Denise Rudolf Frank is a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts (Vienna) and from
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London). She lives and works in