James Franklin

Loosely constructed shapes and unwieldy textures combine in my work to form a style that is untethered by traditional narrative. Shape, texture, and palate flow into one another overlap, and expand in dynamic compositions liberated from the confines of a canvas. I have found solace in the ambiguity of sculptural painting with shapes born from wire, and panels from objects found in my studio. The forms became unwieldy, even awkward, but are no less vibrant and exciting for it. Their lack of balance implies a kinetics and propulsion echoed in their push into three dimensions.

The work engages a dialogue that questions the nature and expressive potential of creativity — how our sub-rational responses dominate decision making, how our trust in them opens creative possibilities to expose not only the power of our intuition, but our vulnerability to it. I encourage the viewer to meditate on the basic framework of craft, exposing evidence of his process —layers, splatters, drips, the underlying structure —in plain sight.

Born in Tacoma, WA, James Benjamin Franklin received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1999. In 2017, he received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Franklin currently lives and works in Detroit, MI, and his artistic influences include Shirley Jaffe, Thornton Dial, Richard Diebenkorn, Alexander Calder and Agnes Martin among others. Recent exhibitions include KMAC, FRONT International, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI, Reyes | Finn, Detroit, MI, and Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City.