Fran Forman: The Rest Between Two Notes
“I communicate with the world by creating visual narratives of composited photographs, often illuminating that in-between moment in time. It is how I explore dreams deferred, connections to prior generations, the natural world and our place within it. Making art is my psychological release, my obsession and my salvation. – Fran Forman”
Fran Forman has just released a tour de force monograph, The Rest Between Two Notes, published by Unicorn Books. Expanding on her visual narratives of composited photographs showcased in her first monograph, The Escape Artist, her substantial new book moves the work into a realm of richly colored capacious photo-paintings that explore space in a new way, leaving room for liminal and psychological moments and for the imagination to create stories of what might be. The compositions are dreamlike, filled with shadow and light and color, with figures that appear as if in dreams, moving through space with a sense of mystery. Fran finds inspiration in Caravaggio’s light intensive portraits, Edward Hopper’s use of light and shadow, the surrealism of Duane Michaels, the constructed tableaux of Gregory Crewdson, and cinematographers who employ light and shadow to increase tension, such as Michael Haneke, Errol Morris, and Dario Argento.
In her introduction to the book, Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director and Curator of the Griffin Museum of Photography writes: “Through metaphor, references to art and social history, classical mythology, as well as her empathic heart, Fran articulates themes of freedom, migration, and the concept of hope. Her characters are transported from one dimension to another, whether it be in time, place, or circumstance. Some characters are culled from the animal kingdom, the pages of literature, and even the museum wall. The bird cage, for example, shows itself in many of Forman’s images as if she is in conversation with her muse, René Magritte.”
The book launches in the U.S.at the Strand Book Store in New York on Thursday, March 12, 7:30-8:30pm. Fran will be in conversation with Katrin Eismann at the event. Other book signings are: March 18th at photoeye in Santa Fe, March 25th at Trident Books, Boston, April 14th at the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, and July 9th. The book can be purchased at photoeye and on Amazon. To purchase in the UK and Europe, go here.
The Rest Between Two Notes
Over many decades, I’ve been constructing new and imagined images out of existing photographs, staging scenes that often defy the laws of physics or perceived reality. These ‘photo-painting’ images integrate and juxtapose realism with illusion, truth with magic, hope with sorrow.
In my new book, The Rest Between Two Notes, I continue the exploration of paradox and those enigmatic moments – the liminal spaces – between shadow and light, connection and absence, loss and longing, not quite leaving nor arriving – the frozen moment in time, or the moment between moments where the direction one takes is not yet known.
The book consists of over 100 plates within five ‘chapters’, each suggesting a different ‘between’ state. Four ‘chapters’ surround a ‘portrait gallery’ reflecting the connection between history and the present, Golden Age painting and contemporary photography, accented with photographed historic wall coverings. The surrounding four ‘chapters’ portray moments of connection and absence, arrival and departure, where light and shadow, thresholds and portals, real and metaphorical, suggest the state of between-ness and longing.
I believe art is a conversation between the maker and the viewer, as much as it is between an artist’s hand and her mind, and each viewer brings their specific frame of reference to an image, reflecting who they are as individuals. For this book, I asked several artists, writers, scientists, and others who have commented on my work in the past if they would share some thoughts, stories, or poems inspired by a particular image, and I am grateful to them all. Their words add a third dimension and appear adjacent to their selected image.
The Rest Between Two Notes is dedicated to all who participate in the conversation that is art. – Fran Forman
Fran Forman’s photo paintings have been exhibited widely, both locally and internationally, and are in many private collections as well the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Washington, DC), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Grace Museum (Texas), the Sunnhordland Museum (Norway), Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, the Comer Collection at the University of Texas, and the County Down Museum (Northern Ireland).
Fran’s 2nd major monograph, The Rest Between Two Notes, with 110 color plates and 224 pages is published by Unicorn Publishing and available March 2020.
Escape Artist: The Art of Fran Forman was published by SchifferBooks and was selected as one of the Best PhotoBooks of 2014 by Elizabeth Avedon and won First Place in an international competition
Fran’s work is featured in the books Photoshop Masking and Compositing, Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: People and Places, BETA Developments in Photography, and the magazines AAP, Internationales Magazin fur Sinnliche Fotografie (Fine Art Photo), The Hand, Blur, and Shadow and Light. Monographs of Fran’s solo exhibitions were published by Pucker Gallery in 2018, 2016, and 2014. She was invited to be an Artist in Residence at Holsnoy Kloster, Norway, The Studios of Key West , and The Millay Colony for the Arts. Additionally, she is often asked to juror and curate photo exhibitions.
Some of Fran’s solo exhibitions were at The Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, England, The Massachusetts State House (The Griffin Museum of Photography), AfterImage Gallery (Dallas), the University of North Dakota, Galeria Photo/Graphica (Mexico), and the Pucker Gallery (Boston), as well as numerous group shows. In the past decade, Fran has won numerous significant awards and prizes; most recently, first place from the Julia Margaret Cameron awards and three awards (First Place, Gold and Silver) from PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Paris. She also won the second prize from the World Photography Gala Award (out of over 8000 entries) in People and Portraits; in 2010, she won 1st place in Collage for the Lucie Foundation’s International Photo Awards (IPA). She was also a finalist for four straight years in PhotoLucida’s Critical Mass.
Fran is represented by AfterImage Gallery (Dallas), Pucker Gallery (Boston), , SusanSpiritus Gallery (California), and Galeria Photo/Graphica (Mexico).
She is an Affiliated Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, a recipient of several grants and Artist Residencies, and teaches advanced photo-collage internationally.
Fran studied art and sociology at Brandeis University, received an MSW in psychiatric social work, and then an MFA from Boston University. She resides in the New England area.
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