Badur’s gracefully intuitive minimalist compositions draw his viewers into their subtlety with a delicate interplay of surface and color. Veils of reds are laid down in bands of varying widths and opacity across the canvas, creating a vibrating, almost tectonic sensation on the painting’s surface; one becomes aware of the subtlety of shade, tone and texture of each band in a newly heightened way. Far from clinical, or mechanically produced, Badur’s paintings carry with them deep emotional weight, as each level of surface reveals the human hand that created it.
The artist’s clear aesthetic language—one that is aware but independent of the gesture’s long history, tracing from fauvism and constructivism through the color field paintings of the Abstract Expressionist movement—relies on formal restraints combined with control of materials and intuition to develop a clear awareness of itself that is unspoken, yet distinct. Badur’s work seeks to find the pure meaning of painting, and neither mimetically nor metaphorically represents or references any reality outside of the canvas. This lack of signifiers, this primeval sense of painting, allows the viewer to dive into the piece and experience it without the clouding of subject or metaphor.
This exhibition also features a selection of works on paper that Badur refers to as “scrolls.” Long vertical sheets are divided by subdued and delicate graphite and gouache lines, bands and grids, which build the same visual harmony achieved in the paintings. These quieter works carry with them a stillness that is gentle, but impacting.
Frank Badur’s work has been exhibited and collected widely in both Europe and the Americas. His work is in the collections of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt/Main, the Ahrenberg Collection, Los Angeles, Malmo Konstmuseum, Sweden, the Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Progressive Collection, the Yale University Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others.