Exhibition on Display: January 22 - February 27, 2021
Works by Michael Frank Blair
At their most basic level, the small works in this exhibition are manifestations of my
time and presence in the studio. While appearing playful, they are seriously mulling over
many of the formal and conceptual concerns I wrestle with, primarily the “fabric” of
two-dimensional space, and its human significance.
I generally shy away from direct imagery in my work but am deeply concerned with images
as a phenomenon: their materiality, their perspectives and scales, their ontological
slippages. This has led me as much to philosophy as to children’s art, abstract painting,
textiles, or the weaving of digital space. More recently these objects have flirted with
symmetries and perspectives related to maps, ball courts, sports fields, blueprint
diagrams, and script. They are at times methodical, at times immediate, but usually
some unlikely combination of the two.
Regardless of how one qualifies the content of an image: a photograph, film,
advertisement, or drawing, there is at the heart of every pictorial object a kind
of ontological deception. My studio practice accompanies, in a material dimension,
my thinking and writing about the nature of this deception: screens, images, surfaces,
objects, and reality. The paintings are not reducible to those concerns; they don’t
explicitly illustrate those topics, they have their own lives to live. But in their
own ways, in their own dialects, and amid their own private lives, the works are also
thinking through these ideas.
Michael Frank Blair grew up in West Texas and studied Art and Spanish before spending
two years in South America as a Peace Corps volunteer. He received his MFA in Painting
and Drawing from The University of North Texas in 2012, where he also completed coursework
in Art History. He currently lives with his family in Dallas, where he teaches, paints,
and writes about art.