Ruth Franklin

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    Ruth Franklin was born in Kent, England in 1964 and raised on the country’s East Coast in Suffolk. In 1983, she was accepted into Brighton Art School where she obtained a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art / Painting. During the course of her studies Ruth came into contact with many established English working artists who lectured at Brighton. Her taste in art is diverse, ranging from the very painterly masters of colour, line and light such as Chaim Soutine, Honore’ Daumier, Goya, Rembrandt and Van Gogh to contemporary painters Howard Hodgkin, Frank Auerbach, Richard Diebenkorn and Georg Baselitz. Having traveled throughout Europe, including time spent in Barcelona and Amsterdam, Ruth relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 where she currently lives and works. Ruth Franklin’s pastel paintings are in many important private and corporate collections. In September, 1996, she had her first one-woman show in the United States at Gallery 71 in New York City, which proved to be a huge success. Also in 1996, one of Ruth’s original pieces was featured in Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, House & Garden, Elle Decor and Gourmet Magazine as part of a major ad campaign for Larson-Juhl, the world’s largest framing and moulding manufacturer and a long time patron and collector of Franklin’s work. In Franklin’s hands, pastel painting is restored to it’s proper place as a major art medium, suitable for making finished aesthetic statements, as opposed to preliminary drawings or sketches. Indeed, she employs the medium as other painters employ oils, to evoke a rich range of coloristic and atmospheric effects. Her work is particularly remarkable for her use of light, color and line, with which she creates a specific sense of place, even while imbuing her compositions with a unique boldness by virtue of her strong formal generalizations. Few painters of her generation, on either side of the Atlantic, have evolved such a distinct personal style. Despite her relative youth, Franklin’s work has a sense of mature resolution of vision reminiscent of masters as diverse as Georges Rouault and her fellow countryman Howard Hodgkin. Like Rouault in particular, she combines glowing colors and bold outlines to achieve a richness and a luminosity not unlike stained glass, albeit with far greater depth, detail and tonal subtlety. She is also akin to that great French painter in the spiritual suggestiveness that infuses her compositions. All the more remarkably, however, she brings the spiritual dimension into her work without sullying the purity of her vision through the inclusion of hackneyed religious symbolism. Rather, spirit suffuses everyday existence in the pastels of Ruth Franklin, where the luminous gleam on the rim of a pitcher sitting on a simple table in one of her still lifes is sufficient to suggest that rarefied realm beyond the world of ordinary appearances. Whether depicting cozy interiors with a warm domestic glow, darkly mysterious suburban streets where identical A-frame houses and lollipop trees hint an ironic social subtext, or the subtle shadow play on the porch of a humble seaside bungalow, Ruth Franklin invests each subject she paints with a visual poetry that implies true mastery.

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