The sound of two balls dropping
The sound of two balls dropping

Dale Frank

1959 - The sound of two balls dropping 1998
  • aluminium paint on canvas
200 cm x 260 cm

'A field of crackling silver aluminium paint, reflecting light from all angles, like looking at the surface of the sea on a blazingly bright day, or the feel of an adrenalin or amphetamine rush. Like Frank's landscape and seascape paintings from the 1980s, in this work the image suggests something accelerated, stretched out over time and space, energised into a state of pure sensation. We can think of it as a body and a landscape, or a microscopic view of a space-age material or organism.

Like some of Frank's other paintings from the late 1990s, this painting was made by paint being poured directly from the can over a large sheet of canvas flat on the artist's studio floor. Sometimes the artist uses varnish, or thick layers of enamel paint, so that it flows across the canvas. When the paintings are hung on the wall, the paint and varnish often continue to move over the surface as if the painting were alive. These paintings are figurative inasmuch as they are scientific. They represent the body as a biological entity - continually changing shape - composed of flowing matter (like blood and lymph) and electrical impulses.

If you were to percieve the body from an alternate dimension, it might look something like this: a field of vibrating energy creating matter flowing in all direction at every possible speed.

A wind rushing through a dark forest shaking the branches and leaves, showers of stars rushing together to open a space into a new universe. '

Source: Rachel Kent, Dale Frank, Ecstasy: twenty years of painting, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000

© Dale Frank






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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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