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Artists Audrey Flack
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Audrey Flack

American Painter and Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Abstract Expressionism, Photorealism

Born: May 30, 1931 - New York

Audrey Flack Timeline

Quotes

"Visualise what you want to do before you do it. Visualisation is so powerful that when you know what you want, you will get it."
Audrey Flack
"What makes for great art is the courage to speak and write and paint what you know and care about."
Audrey Flack
"At Cooper Union I became a wild Abstract Expressionist. I went home with my little sketchbook, and I copied every Old Master: Tintoretto, El Greco."
Audrey Flack
"Farb Family Portrait is the first work that was ever done from a slide. Of anyone, I think I was the first photorealist that would project the slide."
Audrey Flack
"The fascination of photorealist paintings lies partly in their apparent replication of life, but these are not merely replications. These paintings are often out of life scale, varying from over life-size to under life-size, from brilliant heightened colour to pale, undertone hues."
Audrey Flack
"I believe in the energy of art, and through the use of that energy, the artist's ability to transform his or her life, and by example, the lives of others."
Audrey Flack
"Art is a protest against death."
Audrey Flack
"I'm identifying with Mary, whose crying for her child. And I'm crying for mine - She was the vehicle for me."
Audrey Flack
"Making art is about making choices. There are a surprising number to be made even when you are contemplating something as simple as an apple. An apple may be red or green, or yellow or various mixtures. It can be rotting or fresh, sliced or whole, pure or scarred. It can be the apple Eve presented to Adam, Snow White's apple, Red Riding Hood's apple, the BIG apple. You can see how the form and meaning change with each one of these decisions."
Audrey Flack
"Art is a powerful force in the world. It is the visual representation of what we think and what we feel, and of how we think and how we feel."
Audrey Flack
"Spanish sculpture of the 17th century is all about passion and extreme feelings, in other words, excess. The 17th century marble sculptor Berruguete as well as the wood carvers like Martinez Montanez and Luisa Roldan intensified expression, added content, colour, symbolism, gold, pearls, jewels."
Audrey Flack
"I want my work to be universal."
Audrey Flack

"For me art is a continuous discovery into reality, an exploration of visual data which has been going on for centuries, each artist contributing to the next generation's advancement."

Audrey Flack Signature

Synopsis

Following an early, and comparatively successful, flirtation with Abstract Expressionism, Audrey Flack turned to figurative self-portraiture, a change in direction that was a response in part to challenging personal circumstances. Once her domestic situation had improved, however, Flack moved away from the 'self' and addressed herself to the object world using the copying, tracing, and enlarging methods associated with the aesthetics of Photorealism. Flack's new-found success was such that she became a highly revered and established figure within the art establishment. But rather than try and repeat her greatest triumphs, Flack turned to sculpture as a means of exploring issues of history and female representations, chiefly through the three-dimensional figure of the classical goddess. Latterly she has returned to two-dimensional work using painting and printmaking in her quest to rework the heroic - post-modern - female figure.

Key Ideas

Moving away from the large-scale gestural abstractions that marked the very beginnings of her career, Flack turned to narrative subject matter via a series of authentic self-portraits. Having formally studied anatomical art, Flack took her lead from no less a figure than Rembrandt, producing what were unadorned self-examinations typically realized, like Rembrandt, through sombre, earthy tones.
As she moved into Photorealism, Flack turned her gaze onto the outside world. She achieved the photo-real effect by projecting, tracing, and re-colouring real historical events onto over-size canvases. She also produced Vanitas works - traditionally still-life paintings featuring religious and moral symbolism - through which she brought iconic photographic images from the past into new relationships with everyday perishables and chattels. Flack would often use an airbrush as a means of bringing the burnished gleam of advertising to her subject matter thus lending her art a dramatic, hyperrealistic quality.
Turning her attentions to three-dimensions, Flack used sculpture as a means of exploring ideas around the politics of female representation. Her new female icons were typically based on ancient mythology - Medusa (1989) and Sofia (1995) for instance - only reimagined by Flack for the post-modern age. She brought her figures into the contemporary sphere through many self-conscious and kitsch allusions to pop culture. Her sculptures contested the idea of mythical and archetypal representations of women by making her figures instantly relatable for contemporary spectators.

Biography

Audrey Flack Photo

Childhood

Audrey Flack was born in Washington Heights, New York in 1931 into a middle-class family. Her parents were Eastern-European emigres and, so she would become a successor to the Jewish tradition and culture, young Audrey was taught Hebrew and attended Jewish camp during the summer holidays. At junior high school, however, Flack was a restless and disruptive student and as punishment she was often sent to a desk in the corridor where she was given pencils and paper to keep her occupied. Somewhat ironically, it was through her expulsions from class that she discovered her vocation. Flack had found a sense of purpose in art and she duly graduated to "class artist" making calendars and art displays for the school. On a more personal level, Flack had become so entranced by the swimmer-cum-actress Esther Williams that she made a diorama in her heroine's honour. Her admiration for iconic female figures would serve her well in her later career too.

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Audrey Flack Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Audrey Flack
Interactive chart with Audrey Flack's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Jackson PollockJackson Pollock
Franz KlineFranz Kline
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning
Luisa Roldan
Maria van Oosterwyck

Personal Contacts

Franz KlineFranz Kline
Margaret Ponce
Jeanne Hamilton

Movements

Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Social RealismSocial Realism
PhotorealismPhotorealism
PostmodernismPostmodernism

Influences on Artist
Audrey Flack
Audrey Flack
Years Worked: 1949 - Current
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Richard PrinceRichard Prince
Jeff KoonsJeff Koons
Gillian Wearing
Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman

Personal Contacts

Margaret Ponce
Robert C Morgan

Movements

The Pictures GenerationThe Pictures Generation
Neo Pop ArtNeo Pop Art
Feminist MovementFeminist Movement

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Content compiled and written by Rosie Lesso

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rosie Lesso
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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