Works by Michael Frank Blair
January 22 - February 27, 2021
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.