Artist: Egan Frantz
Exhibition title: The Praying Boy
Venue: Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin, Germany
Date: June 27 – August 29, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin
Galerie Nagel Draxler is pleased to announce The Praying Boy, an exhibition of new paintings by American artist Egan Frantz. The exhibition will run from 26 June to 29 August 2020 at our main location in Berlin, Weydingerstraße 2/4.
Egan Frantz’s work continues to evolve at the fast pace he has become known for. It is not easy to collect, curate, or label an artist who harbors so many surprises. Predicting his next move has proven difficult. As a result, Frantz’s prodigious turns in choices of color, material, and subject matter — well-rehearsed, however defying expectations — have become a source of delight for many, including us at the gallery.
Frantz’s paintings make us smile. They make us laugh. But they also have an impenetrable quality — their true subject resting on the tip of our tongues, always just out of reach. Time and again, our efforts to describe them justly have been met at the threshold which is difficult to cross; mutatis mutandis, this “impenetrability” is a source of their strength. Despite the appearance of seamlessness that marks many of his paintings, it has also been observed that “everything in Frantz’s approach militates against the idea of closure (perceptual, hermeneutic or otherwise).” So, it appears we are wrangling with an artist’s predilection for paradox.
He may well twist a wide brush to produce the fine line you are seeing. He may well be inspired by the horizon seen at a distance to produce a lateral line in the painting without any further visual support. He could rely on the swing of the arm or the elbow to achieve the effect desired, but above all he allows the logic of his moves both conceptually and painterly to take command.
For Frantz, the act of painting is “primarily an exercise in silence. [His] attention is focused on getting out of the way and watching to see where each painting wants to go in order to ultimately deliver it to that place. This means that new and unexpected challenges invariably come to the fore, challenges that are difficult to overcome. But, [he says] this, in itself, is an invaluable experience and each new painting is a record of that overcoming.”
The Praying Boy exhibition consists of six new large paintings. They are Music (1.8 x 1.8 m), Praying Boy (1.8 x 3.6m), American Painting (1.8 x 2.4 m), Tlön Studies (1.8 x 1.8 m), Scale 1:1 (Tuerlinckx) (2 x 1.35 m) and Hours (56.5 x 180 cm). All works are signed and dated by the artist 2020. Works of the artist from our archive will also be available for viewing by appointment.
Egan Frantz was born in Connecticut where he lives and works. He has exhibited widely in United States and Europe, having mounted solo exhibitions at Team Gallery, Miguel Abreu, CLEARING, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Tilton Gallery, Roberts Projects, and the Essl Museum to name just a few.
 Sherer, Daniel. Egan Frantz: Switched-On Painting.Mousse Magazine, November 2019.