Natalie Frank

b. 1980

Born in Austin, Texas, 1980; Lives and works in New York, New York

The drawings became this place where I could commit crimes and transgressions, where I could do what I wanted and let go of the idea of painting or drawing from life. — Natalie Frank



Cross-dressing for the Battlefield
Freeman Alley

Natalie Frank

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Natalie Frank

Group Show
Salon 94 Bowery

Paint, Porcelain And Pulp

Group Show
Frieze New York

Frieze NY 2019


Natalie Frank (b. 1980) is an interdisciplinary artist whose oil paintings, gouache and chalk pastels, paper paintings, and ceramics, focus primarily on the intersections of feminism, sexuality and violence. Across media, Frank’s oeuvre highlights the precarious state of women and their bodies throughout history, particularly in relation to erotic literature and fairy tales, but also within contemporary discourse surrounding such themes as sex work. Frank has produced a number of books in recent years, including O (2018), which visualizes tales from the shocking 1954 French erotic novel, Story of O; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2017); and Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2015). In May 2021, Princeton University Press published Frank’s fifth book, The Island of Happiness: Tales of Madame d’Aulnoy.

In late January, Frank will be the subject of a solo exhibition, Unbound, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (MO), which traveled from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (WI) in 2021; the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. In 2015, the artist was the subject of a solo exhibition, Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, at the Drawing Center, New York (NY), which traveled to the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas, Austin (TX) and the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington (KY).

In 2021, PBS premiered Jarful of Bees, a newly commissioned opera incorporating Frank’s drawings, composed by Paola Prestini and starring Met Opera soprano Eve Gigliotti. Frank previously served as artistic director of Grimm Tales, a production staged by Ballet Austin in Texas, in which she collaborated with artists on producing sets, costumes, animations and textile designs.

The artist’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (TX); the Brooklyn Museum (NY); the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse (NY); the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PA); the Rose Art Museum, Waltham (MA); the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs (NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (NY); and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (CT). In 2004, Frank received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.



A Conversation with Natalie Frank

Sculpture Magazine

Pioneering fairytale author D'Aulnoy gets a rare English edition to herself
Alison Flood

The Guardian

Mayhem and Murder Star in a Fairy Tale Ballet
Kelly Crow

The Wall Street Journal

Fashioning a Fairy Tale
Kelly Crow

The Wall Street Journal

Costume Designer Constance Hoffman, Artist Natalie Frank Team for ‘Grimm Tales’ Ballet
Kristen Tauer


What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
Jillian Steinhauer

The New York Times

Natalie Frank Tells The Story of “O” at Half Gallery
Katy Donoghue


Natalie Frank’s Fairy Tale for Adults Only
John Yau


When a Feminist Artist Is Censored by a Feminist Gallery
Carl Swanson


Natalie Frank on Fairy Tales and the Pornographic Imagination
Margaret Carrigan


For Women Artists, the Art World Can Be a Minefield
Natalie Frank


Painter Natalie Frank on What New York City’s Dominatrix Community Taught Her About Art
Sarah Cascone

Artnet News

A Fairytale Nightmare
Emily McDermott

Interview Magazine

Natalie Frank by Dasha Shishkin
Dasha Shishkin

BOMB Magazine