Area 61 may have closed its doors on East Main Street as it readies a new space over by The Westin, but the Southside studio will once again be a haven for lovers of unique art, at least for Memorial Day weekend.
A local art dealer is hosting a sales exhibition featuring the work of abstract expressionist Harold Frank at the former gallery and showroom May 25-28.
It marks the first time Frank's paintings have been available for sale since 2002.
Though not an originator of abstract expressionism, Frank was a strong practitioner of it. He was a member of the New York Art League and studied under and alongside great artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, an American painter who helped found the Bay Area Figurative Movement in California. Frank hoarded most of his work, and had made no will of succession prior to his death in 1995.
The unique collection of over 100 paintings was acquired by a woman named Sandie Stern through the California Probate Court of 1998 after Frank's death. In 2015, the artwork was rediscovered in Los Angeles in the care of May Chung, who had inherited the works from Stern in 2013.
Exhibition director Paul Mallchok said the collection conveys the exuberance and existential stresses of the abstract expressionism art movement of the 1940s.
"The richness of the colors and the finish glazing on the works is what I find most attractive," he added. "The nudes are exceptionally vibrant and bold."
The collection is broken into different categories: interpretations of the female form, portraits, floral works, and pure abstracts. Pieces at the sales exhibit range from $1,800 to $5,800.
Mallchok said there has never been an established market price for Frank's paintings, which makes this offering a true "find."
The exhibition is from 6-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday and noon to 2 p.m. Monday. The gallery is at 61 E. Main St.