March 5, 2018
Stone Ridge, NY
John L. Frank, 88, of Stone Ridge, NY, died Monday March 5, at his home. He was an artist and an associate professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
He was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
He received an B.F.A. from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Hunter College. At Hunter, he was a student of Robert Motherwell's, who became a life-long friend and mentor and taught him the philosophies of Abstract Expressionism. Frank became a member of the young Abstract Expressionist generation of painters in New York and Provincetown that included Philip Guston, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. He believed that for a work of art to be appreciated, "the viewer must invest a great deal of themselves physically and emotionally."
He was also strongly influenced by Buddhism and Indian culture. After receiving a Fulbright Grant in 1964, he traveled for a year and a half in India to paint and photograph the art and architecture. He returned to India many times during his life and painted works inspired by Buddhist mandalas and meditation practices he discovered in Tibet, Nepal and the Himalayan regions of India.
He was a lecturer at the University of Rhode Island, Brown University and the University of Louisville. He was an associate professor at Bradford College from 1962 to 1965 and an associate professor at the State University of New Paltz from 1965 to 1991.
He has exhibited around the world, with one-man shows in Tokyo, Bombay, Los Angeles, New York and Provincetown. In New York, he showed at the Nonagon Gallery, Bleeker Gallery and East Hampton Gallery. His work has been in the collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Harriman Collection in Boston, the Cincinnati Museum, the Speed Museum in Louisville, KY, and the Finch College Collection.
He was the Director of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum School and a director and trustee for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. He was also the founder and overseas director of the India-UNESCO Associated Schools.
He is survived by his wife, artist Kathi Robinson Frank; his two daughters, Natia Frank and Heather Frank Johnson; his son, Robert L. Frank; his step-daughter, Jennifer Tinker; his step-son, Benjamin Tinker, as well as three grandchildren.