Natalie Frank: Tales of the Brothers Grimm

“For Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 36 celebrated and lesser-known of the unsanitized fairy tales collected by the illustrious brothers were carefully chosen by artist Natalie Frank, reinterpreted in 75 gouache and chalk pastel drawings, and cast in a Surrealist dreamscape. This volume, designed by Marian Bantjes, is the largest collection of Grimms' Fairy Tales ever illustrated by a fine artist. Frank's irreverent palette, sophisticated use of color and inventive depiction of these dark narratives capture the original stories with a contemporary and unflinching eye. Each of the tales opens with a hand-drawn title page and is framed by a unique border; small drawings punctuate each story in the tradition of classic fairy-tale editions. The foremost Grimm scholar, Jack Zipes, introduces the book.” –

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Natalie Frank: Tales of the Brothers Grimm


Frank takes the stories apart to uncover their most sinister scenes, rendering them with surreal, nightmarish flourishes. Digging into their subtexts, Frank unmasks these tales as the twisted, misogynistic fantasies they always were. (Paul Laster, Time Out New York)

The numinous, jarring color and attention to gleefully monstrous details is masterful. Certainly no other artist of her generation has done as much with pastel. Drawing is central to her work, and with that comes the possibility of inventiveness. (John Yau, Hyperallergic)

Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Drawings by Natalie Frank is an impressive tome with marvelous attention to detail. Frank’s work is represented in private collections and museums in the United States. This book has all of the makings and quality to become a collector’s item for people who enjoy books that are beautifully printed and filled with commanding illustrations. (Richard Rivera, New York Journal of Books)

Frank’s paintings always tend to have a narrative feel to them anyway–the experience akin to reading some kind of meticulous and elegant horror comic book, with the panels stacked on top of each other, Bacon’s popes meet Guernica–but here every page dances with color and emotion. (Dan Duray, ARTnews)

Represented by Chicago dealer Rhona Hoffman and L.A. dealers ACME, the artist has set herself apart with traditional painting techniques that she fuses with modern abstract styles and a vibrant palette. Her work often explores contemporary discourse on the body, feminism, sexuality, the grotesque, and the domestic sphere. For the Grimms, her characters are raw, at times rough, and always a study in opposites: soft and sensual flesh, with piercing realistic eyes, caught up in furious line work, contorted bodies, and violent tragedy. But like the stories themselves, all the images still contain a bit of humor. (Alanna Martinez, Observer)

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