I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility and a penchant for improvisation.

My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be).

The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent conversation.

I love ambiguity and have learned to be comfortable with not knowing. In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate.”

It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.

– Fran Shalom, 2024


Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including a solo show at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge Mass, and the Hunterdon Museum in New Jersey. She has been the recipient of a Pollack Krasner Artist Grant, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship and an Art Omi Residency. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rose Art Museum and the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris.

She is represented by the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York City