Merging graffiti and high art abstraction Dana Frankfortâ€™s paintings occupy a hazy space between verbal and visual communication. Using text as a platform for expressive embellishment each canvas reveals a word or phrase within its sumptuous surface; simple statements such as â€˜Believeâ€™, â€˜Beyondâ€™, or â€˜Paintâ€™ become esoteric starting points for the physical negotiation of painting.
Adapting text as the subject for her paintings, Frankfort distils both the poetic and formal qualities of the written word. Repeatedly scrawled, painted over, scribbled out, and intensified, each slogan becomes abstracted as a series of intersecting lines, curves and angles, their meanings amplified and distorted through the gesture and surface quality of their manifestation.
Simultaneously brutal and ethereal, Frankfortâ€™s canvases draw from the lineage of Howard Hodgkin and Morris Louis in their intensity of colour, impassioned brushstrokes, and linear compositions. The sophistication of Frankfortâ€™s process belies the imperative of her sentiments. The urgency of her aesthetic is contrasted with time consuming processes of sanded surfaces, premeditated spill patterns, and calculated layers of matte and high-gloss finish. Through this considered arbitration, Frankfort frames her text with the complexity of psychological depth, creating a palimpsest of memory and emotive association.
thebrooklynrail.org - Dana Frankfort - Whatâ€™s So Funny
Dana Frankfort is a rare example of a painter willing to inhabit the inhospitable territory that would claim both words and gestural abstraction as its provenance.
Art In Review; Dana Frankfort -- What's So Funny by Roberta Smith
brooklynfireproof.com Dana Frankfortâ€™s paintings are both signs and compelling images within themselves. Mixing emblematic gestures with what could be perceived as slogans, Frankfortâ€™s paintings/signs suggest a formal beauty with their shape and construction.
brooklynfireproof.com - Dana Frankfort at Brooklyn Fire Proof
Art In America, February 2006
One of the most refreshing aspects of Dana Frankfortâ€™s debut exhibition was how clearly the paintings demonstrated her lack of interest in eccentricity of materials, exactitude of finish, imagery of any kind, bright nursery colors and self-conscious quirkiness of executionâ€”to name a few options that have recently been overused by younger painters.