Frances’s “Uncombed” images in their varied repetition figure something in a peripheral sense, like a séance or laps of photographic developer fluid running over their surfaces. In the aftermath of an iridescent oil-rain puddle drive-through, we catch glimpses of what went by. Her recent “nonportraits” operate similarly; spilling, blotting, and taking away fragments of partial view. The nine new pictures in this show, which relate to those larger bodies of work, are tethered to memories, or to a film still distorted, an evaporated image projected onto a model of a room, or a painting scaled down and re-configured into a watercolor. Swipes, dissolves, and recollections of a glance are exchanged—between a visitor and a West Texan horse, a passerby and a desert food stand. Three dimensions seep and fold in and out of the space of these small pages, and the sun hits one majestic face of the chicken truck.
In transitioning fluidly between film shooting and painting, Frances strings narrative into formal means and vice-versa. Not to endlessly defer in the sense of vapid/reflexive abstraction, but rather to work at something more genuinely or stubbornly noir. In one of her earlier videos that could also be dubbed a non-portrait, Wir kennen uns übrigens (We know each other by the way), 1998, the artist’s bag is emptied out in its entirety multiple times over, a cover of or take on Jane B. par Agnes V.. In these small works on paper, we get tangles again from sources inverted.
Frances Scholz was born in Washington D.C. and studied at the College of Fine Arts, Berlin. Since 2002 she has been a professor at the Braunschweig University of Art/HBK (DE) and lives and works in Cologne. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at venues including Abteiberg Museum Moenchengladbach (DE), CCA Wattis Institute San Francisco (US) and the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, (US). Further on institutions like the KunstMuseum, Bonn, (DE), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (DE), Chisenhale Gallery, London (GB), CAPC Museum, Bordeaux (F), Witte de Witt, Museum Rotterdam (NL), MOCA, Museum Los Angeles (US), Galeria Studio, Warsaw (PL), ICA, London (GB) or Artists Space and The Kitchen, New York (US) screened her films and presented her paintings.
Annie Ochmanek is a writer and editor based in New York. She is currently in the Art History Ph.D. program at Columbia University.