The MIT List Visual Arts Center is pleased to present Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind, the first U.S. museum survey of the work of Los Angeles artist and writer, Frances Stark (b. 1967, Newport Beach, California). For over two decades, Stark has laid bare the creative act in all its tedium and enchantment. With distinctive wit and candor, her expressly personal language reflects an interest in the relationship between art, literature, and everyday life. As a writer and artist, Stark proposes that the creative self is a performance, what she calls “a torment of follies” riddled with self-doubt and speculation—and the occasional moment of transcendence. Language, as both subject matter and material, has been a central theme in the artist’s work. The elliptical style that typifies her writing is echoed in an often text-based artistic practice; along with clusters of typewritten letters, Stark employs literary fragments from a wide variety of sources, from Emily Dickinson to pop music. With an abiding interest in the interplay between image and text, Stark’s iconography also incorporates elements drawn from her personal and professional life. Her intricately textured collages reflect a concern with the tactile, intimate, and handmade, while wryly addressing the gender roles associated with professional and domestic spaces such as the artist’s studio. While describing an attempt to render the poetic from the mundane, Stark’s work also reflects a poignant search for the “kind of ‘liberation’ I—as a woman, artist, teacher, mother, ex-wife—am really after.”
Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind is organized by João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center. An illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition, with a selection of texts by the artist, and an essay by the exhibition curator.
Support for Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind has been generously provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, David Teiger, the Council for the Arts at MIT, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
About the Artist
Frances Stark is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer who completed her MFA at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA and currently teaches at the University of Southern California. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, U.K.; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Secession, Vienna, Austria; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Bourgogne, Dijon, France; and UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Tate Modern, London, U.K.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the 2008 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Stark is also the author of The Architect and the Housewife (Book Works, 1999) and Collected Writings: 1993-2003 (Book Works, 2003) and has published widely in numerous magazines, journals, catalogues, and artist monographs. Her artworks are included in public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Fonds regional d’art contemporain, Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France.