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 Frahn Koerner  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: Louisiana      Known for: mix-media abstract landscape, computer

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Frahn Koerner
An example of work by Frahn Koerner
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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Frahn Koerner was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Painting and drawing since a young child, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Newcomb College at Tulane University in 1978. She was married in 1979 and over the next six years had 3 sons. When her youngest boy started grammar school, Koerner began graduate studies in painting.

She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Orleans in 1997. She was subsequently divorced in 1998. For the next few years she taught drawing classes at both Tulane University and the University of New Orleans. Three years later in 2001, Koerner was married to a Scotsman at Airth Castle, Scotland. She is currently based and working out of New Orleans, LA.

Koerner grew up spending summers on the Mississippi Gulf coast and this influence is evident in her work. Colors from this semi tropical environment and patterns inspired by those in nature have been a repetitive motif for her. She travels frequently; exploring different cultures and often infuses indigenous patterns and designs into her work. She recently completed a suite of works based on a trip to Eastern Europe. Other influences are an early Catholic upbringing, a Celtic heritage, and an ongoing interest in Buddhist philosophy.

Koerner uses various materials such as liquid plastic, aluminum paint and glitter in her work, along with traditional oil paint. This combination results in a lush surface that reflects and absorbs the light for the purpose of achieving an illusion of movement and depth. Her paintings have a rich surface quality that invites the viewer into the work. Many elements in her work are purposely not obvious at first, but are revealed upon further observation.

Just recently she has begun to use the computer as a tool in her process. In the past, painters have used a sketchbook to flush out ideas. Koerner has taken this approach with her computer, using it as a virtual sketchbook where she can find new ways to experiment with imagery, color combinations, and overall composition.

The following is from a catalogue essay by David Rubin, curator for the Digital Louisiana-4.6.2002-6.9.2002 show at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

As a painter, Koerner uses the computer as a "virtual sketchbook," a tool for fleshing out ideas. In developing a painting, Koerner may create as many as one hundred computer mock ups in which she experiments with multiple possibilities for color, scale, and composition. She begins a painting by pouring paint onto a canvas or wood panel, photographs the initial layer, and scans the image onto a computer. Next she integrates imagery from a variety of sources in her everyday environment into the mix, and manipulates the visual data. She then photographs the painting again and repeats the process until satisfied with the results. A finished painting is then based on the computer data but never replicates it.

Koerner is as interested in the layering of meanings as she is of forms, and the amalgam of images in her paintings represents a personal lexicon of emotional, psychological, and spiritual symbolism. Memory and nostalgia, for example are reflected in decorative patterning that she copied from an architectural motif at a church that she visited in Budapest, while the recurring image of a horse refers to her experience of riding horses during childhood.

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