Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
03 Feb 2000 to 15 May 2000
Ecstasy: Twenty Years of Painting was the first survey exhibition of Dale Frank’s work. The exhibition was part of a curatorial initiative at the MCA to profile Australian artists at key points in their career. Attending to the years from 1981 to 1999 Ecstasy created a portrait of an artist who impressed, astonished, thrilled and sometimes antagonised his audience.
Any profile of Frank must pay homage to the dexterity with which he employed the medium of painting. With over 50 paintings on display, this exhibition offered a body of work with a vivacious sense of freedom. The liveliness of Frank’s paintings can be traced to experimentation with other media including film, photography, free-standing objects, live performance and drawing.
Frank is opaque in his discussion of what his work might be about, but this exhibition represented an artist concerned with the relationship between art and reality: the viewer, society and the times in which we exist.