If you were to travel a path of decorative arts from a Pre-Raphaelite meeting in the English drawing room of William Morris, through the Miami kitchen of the Golden Girls and straight into the captain’s ready room of the “Star Trek: Enterprise,” your 2019 Albuquerque, N.M. stop would be the entry hall gallery of Spur Line Supply Co. in the Sawmill neighborhood to see Robyn A. Frank’s Sky seeker, dawn.
It is hard to nail down a point of reference for where we are in time and space with Sky seeker, dawn. It is a familiar, though aspirational place not currently available. It is off in the distance on a parallel plane where there are no dirty dishes and the neighbor’s dog doesn’t ever bark. Appreciation requires that you linger, but Sky seeker, dawn is never pushy enough to ask you to stay. You could breeze right past it on your way through your insurance agent’s lobby, or get sucked into it if you could see it from your dentist’s chair.
As she describes, Frank assigns meaning to each element throughout each piece in the exhibit. The circle: The self. The wavy line: The energetic manifestation of uncertain emotions. The diagonal line: Our ever-shifting perspective. Working in the round, Frank deploys each element like Bil Keane characters to capture a moment that might just be a memory of something that never really happened. Her technique brings an experienced hand to render a flawless, slowly crafted painting. It is smooth and refined, with a color palette best described as mauve-adjacent.
What we get from Sky seeker, dawn is what we get from all truly great decorative art. It is a respite from the mental fatigue of daily life and an inducement to calmly seek a better integration between our inner and outer selves. It does not come with its own story, but provides you with a place to contemplate your own. Returning to the words of William Morris we can find direction in this simplification, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Sky seeker, dawn replaces “house” with “self” and hangs on the wall to welcome change that comes from a contemplative, streamlined place. Given time and space, it becomes art you want to live in.