DePaul Art Museum > Exhibitions > Solo(s): Krista Franklin

Solo(s): Krista Franklin

​​​​​​September 8, 2022–February 19, 2023


Krista Franklin (American, b. 1970) creates books, poetry, collages, handmade paper, installations, murals, performances, sound works, sculptures, and lectures. Solo(s): Krista Franklin draws on the artist’s vast range of materials and references, situated at the intersection of poetics, popular culture, and the dynamic histories of the African Diaspora. Often referring  to the performance of a single musician, the exhibition’s title, “Solo(s)” is instead guided by the artist’s commitment to collaboration with fellow artists, writers, and musicians. As a political gesture, Franklin appropriates text and images from vintage magazine articles and other printed matter that she collects. The very act of collaging––cutting, pasting, and juxtaposing––puts Franklin’s works in direct conversation with the materials of other photographers and writers,  transporting her to the time of their original publication. 

Influenced by the  “AfroSurreal Manifesto” (2009), written by poet D. Scot Miller, Franklin’s approaches to making are always mystical, metaphorical, and metaphysical, particularly her spiritual learnings and ideas about the paranormal, gender and sexual identity, and the surreal nature of black and brown experiences. This exhibition brings together for the first time  the artist’s “cover art” collages, made for books and vinyl records. Long term projects like Library of Love (2013–present) showcase her love of the literary, themes of domesticity and interiority, self-reflection, the emotional, sensual, and private. Sculptures like …voyage whose chartings are unlove. (2012/2021) and collages like Developing Black (2019) address the African Diaspora. Franklin offers viewers opportunities to rewrite experiences, often placing Black women at the center. In her own words: “What has the body latched onto to make sense of the experiences scratched into it, and how can we facilitate release?” 

Solo(s): Krista Franklin is organized by DePaul Art Museum and curated by Ionit Behar, Assistant Curator. ​​

Image Credits:
"My Life in the Bush of Ghosts", Library of Love, ​2013–present. Installation. Photo: Cecil McDonald, Jr.
Made in Chicago​, 2021. Watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, pencil, and collage. 
The Empress (from the Octavia E. Butler Tarot Deck​, AK Press), 2021. Watercolor and collage on paper.
The World (from the Octavia E. Butler Tarot Deck​, AK Press), 2021. Collage on magazine paper.