Frances Barth’s imaginary landscape paintings are at once confounding and sublime. Radically abstract, they possess graphic clarity and are made of lush combinations of unnamable colors—saturated blue-grays, fiery orange-reds and pale yellow-greens—that don’t exist in nature. Barth, who was a professor of painting, drawing and critical issues at Yale University from 1986 to 2004, incorporates modeling, animation, diagramming, symbol mapping and charting to create a linear narrative. Layering expanses of color with cartographical lines rendered with hand-made stencils and engineering drafting pencils, Barth creates multiple viewpoints; an aerial perspective one moment, and in another, intimate views of lengths of abstract color.
Her paintings are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. Her work is also included in private collections of Chase Manhattan Bank and IBM Corporation, New York. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.