gallery nine5 is pleased to present Tapp Francke’s latest solo exhibition, this is you. The exhibition, which opens April 16, 2014, will include a back room installation that allows participants to fully absorb the all-encompassing power of color and self-reflection.
Simultaneously nurturing and gently admonishing, Francke’s latest mirror series re-privileges its viewers with the dichotonic push/pull of self-contemplation. The mirrored background requires viewers to confront themselves, with implorations “you love me” and “now is temporary” in script across their reflected faces. In their varying neon colors, from cool blue and neon greens to bright pinks, the words take on an individuated character, mimicked by the custom-made frame surrounding it. Both language and color hold inherently intimate meanings.
A yellow-green “this is real life” adorned with a wide light gold frame reads simultaneously harshly and celebratory. The acidity of the green is combined with quiet gold, enhancing the duality of the phrase’s meaning. “you are stardust,” enclosed in a metallic blue frame, is an oxymoronic eerie calm purple. It is at once a reminder of physicality and hope toward transcendence.
The experience encompassed by Francke’s frames, neon, and mirror is brought to three-dimensionality with a free-standing installation in the gallery’s closed off back room. Three 6-foot-long mirrors encircle a small space for a single individual. The experience envelops and confronts the participant, seeking answers that are singular, general, abstract, and specific. For an instant, one is left with themselves alone, amongst a rapidly-changing world and a fast-paced city, to truly contemplate what they see immediately before them.
Building upon her photography background, Francke continues to explore the effects colors have on a person’s experience within the world. Changing her primary medium to mirror expounds upon Francke’s fascination with the present human experience, influenced as it is by constant movement. “I want to engage viewers in an honest exchange with themselves,” she writes in her artist statement. “To ground them – if even just for a moment.”
Tapp Francke was born in New York and studied at NYU Tisch School of Arts, St. Martin College of Art, and the University of St. Andrews. She currently lives and works in both Southampton and New York City.
She has received, among others, the Penny McCall Foundation Grant and NY Press Award, and her work is held in both public and private collections such as the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the J. Jill Corporation, the Penny McCall Collection, the Henry Buhl Collection, Barclay’s Bank in London, the Unversity of Michigan, and Man Investments. Art critics have highlighted her work in publications such as The New York Art World, The New York Times, and The New Yorker.