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Figures with Edges

Figures with Edges, 2007-2008
Kim Frohsin
8.5x11 P.B. 110pgs.

Frohsin's fusion of painterly intuition and representational sympathy takes an especially surprising turn in these new paintings. "I haven't touched a paintbrush for a year," Frohsin explained during a recent conversation. Building on the live figure drawings that form the base of her compositions, and working with palette knives, razor blades, tape, and crushed pigment, Frohsin brought new possibilities to her mark making, as well as new tones and moods. Take the ribboning curves of the green and blue shapes behind the figure in "Miss J: Past and Present". Consider the layered, patchwork surfaces of "Emily with Blue Visage" and "Some Country Shapes." Or witness the beguiling suspension of the figure in "A Stanford Dive" and "Longitude Blues." Such paintings, though they exhibit Frohsin's characteristic vibrancy and sinuosity, also show all the excitement that comes when an artist explores sudden juxtapositions of color, new relations of foreground and background, and dynamic shifts in the speed of the line.

This is what makes Kim Frohsin such a vital figure in contemporary painting, this urge to make her art from challenges, to plunge forward into the unknown even as she hones the skills she has worked for years to develop. Throughout her exploration, she has maintained her balance of formal passion and personal understanding. Hers is a rare gift, one that gives us cause for gratitude. -Peter Campion