Reviews - Comments
Comments on 2023 exhibition Marking Time
There has been a shift for Tina Frantzen in this body of work. Frantzen has always painted intuitively, her process always makes room for the unknown, but instead of her familiar emerging figures Frantzen has allowed memory room to explore the light and sense of two places, Santorini and Istanbul. Using pastels, charcoal, paint and inks Frantzen explores the recognisable architecture - the curved roofs, ascending minarets and captures the atmospheric quality of each place. Hazy heat emanates from her small Istanbul pieces while cool sharp surfaces rest on her Santorini canvases. Each work represents a pivotal point in time for Frantzen.
Posted by Erin O'Malley on September 13, 2023
Comments on 2021 exhibition Eroica - Railway Street Studios
Tina Frantzen paints intuitively, using a process of revealing in which figures appear. The details of these figures are unknown to her before she starts, so that with each work there is a path of discovery as the painting proceeds. In this new body of work, Frantzen introduces additional layers of meaning both literally and figuratively. Eroica, in part is named after Beethoven's 3rd symphony. Frantzen, a pianist and singer herself, employs light and music while painting. The choice at the time influences the end result, with different brush marks and colour choices communicating a mood, or movement and rhythm.
The ground swirls with colour as well as collaged elements of old music manuscripts, some dating back to 1872. Undoubtedly Eroica will be present somewhere. Serendipitously at the time of composing Eroica, Beethoven was embarking on a new trajectory. It caused a sensation at the time, changing the idea of what a symphony could be.
Joanne Dalgety - October 03, 2021
Comments on 2020 exhibition The Ley Lines of Home
Tina Frantzen's photographs, exhibited for the first time, show a whole new side to her talent. Light and shade have always been a feature in her work, and in her black and white photographs these aspects play a crucial role. Light reflects off water, sun shines through trees, figures are silhouetted, resulting in dynamic and arresting compositions. She shows a sure sense too in her colour photos, but in those she achieves spectacular effects using colour in unusual ways. An image of our rather cluttered downtown skyline turned to gold is particularly striking. Frantzen uses a phone camera, enabling her to catch fleeting moments that strike her on her regular walks. A dog leaps, a tot toddles along a hilltop, someone stands in exactly the right spot to balance a composition. This is a show that no art-lover should miss.
Warwick Brown November 2020
Comments on 2019 exhibition Esoterica
- from a conducted art gallery tour of Railway Street Studios by T J McNamara artexplore.co.nz
"For any artist the crucial moment is the first touch. When faced with a blank canvas or the darkness on a canvas, the first touch is important and here Tina has had exceptional courage because it is not planned. With that first touch wonderfully exotic images are allowed to emerge from the imagination and from the canvas. The adjectives that occur to me are spontaneity and exoticness. There is lovely movement in them. They are very exotic and there is strong element of mystery. This gypsy evokes all sorts of ideas of dance and of Spain and of the past - all emerging from the darkness …beautiful, lovely. The result is very atmospheric."
2015 Annual Wallace Art Awards
The Annual Wallace Art Awards aim to support, promote and expose New Zealand contemporary art and artists. Sir James Wallace established the Annual Wallace Art Awards 24 years ago. These Awards are now the longest surviving and largest annual art awards of their kind in New Zealand, with a value amounting to over $195,000.
They differ from other important New Zealand art prizes in that they aim to provide challenging opportunities and broadening experiences to the four major winners by way of residencies at top-class international institutions. Many of the winners and finalists of the Awards are purchased by the Trust each year to add to the Collection.
The Awards are given for contemporary New Zealand painting, sculpture, video, drawing and unique photography and print to encourage and develop the visual arts in New Zealand, and in particular to reward artists creating outstanding work.
The finalists are divided into 2 categories: The Travelling Exhibition - from which the four major winners are chosen - and the Salon de Refusé. This painting was selected for the Travelling Exhibition
Entr'acte - 2011 Satellite Gallery by Tina Frantzen
Entr’acte: a pause between acts taking the action from one part of a large-scale drama to the next.
Tina's fourth solo exhibition at Satellite Gallery is a continuation of her work using the qualities of light to illuminate elusive and enigmatic figures; theatrical figures that occupy the small, ephemeral moments between larger happenings.
She paints intuitively, the details of each being unknown to her before painting commences, so that with each work there is a process of discovery. By not titling the pieces, Tina shares this sense of discovery with her audience who are free to interpret each painting as they wish.
Tina has been exhibiting consistently in group and solo shows since she began painting seven years ago. Her works are held in private collections as well as that of the James Wallace Trust.
'Echo' - 2009 Satellite Gallery - NZ Herald Review
It's a clever artist who can draw you in.
Atmospheric, often surprising works give much food for thought and invite closer inspection
This is a week of very approachable art. The Satellite Gallery is showing more than 40 small untitled paintings by Tina Frantzen. Each one reveals a Rembrandtesque darkness in which a dim figure moves. These are Romantic; they wear long full dresses or armour. Sometimes they can barely be perceived at all when the light source is hidden. They nevertheless set the imagination working because they evoke old ballads and legends.
Vivid touches of red are part of their energy. They are painted with a skilled, rich, painterly flourish. This is evident when the little mysterious image also includes a heavy curtain when, with no more than a flourish of subdued colour, the painter suggests a thick brocaded material. The paintings make no great claims but we can hear the swish of skirts and a sense of ghostly presence.
All of these shows are quiet. They don't go in for grandeur or savagery or the latest thing from overseas. They are challenging since they set the imagination at work and they do have that eminently approachable quality of delight.
T J McNamara
'Echo' - 2009 Satellite Gallery
Tina Frantzen's latest works are intimate, elusive, subtle and emotive; you can't help but embark on odysseys of your own in the hints of strange corridors and courtyards. Their intrigue is delightful and it remains the artist's intention that you find in them what you will.
There is a wealth of mystery to be found in Tina's work; the figures appearing in 'Echo' glow in their own right, forming their own sense of atmosphere. We are left searching for something in the dark corners, seeing only the glimmer of an ornate robe, or the feathery head-dress of some elusive warrior.
Satellite Gallery Director
'Enter' - 2008 Satellite Gallery
Tina's emotive new exhibition Enter is the latest in a long series of works that employ entrances and passageways as a means of expressing absence, loss, hope and the unknown.
Employing repetition and installation style presentation she intensifies her imagery and themes both on and off the canvas. Her meditations become both philosophical and deeply personal, offered in rich layers of expressive paintwork.
Satellite Gallery Director