The Best and Worst of Frank Gaard

Over four decades of naughty neon from Minneapolis’s most notorious painter

When you’ve been painting for over 40 years, you’re bound to end up with a few pieces in storage. And Frank Gaard, whose salacious comic-book pop art has had the art establishment stifling giggles since the 1960s, has an entire basement full of “un-salables.” These cast-offs, some as large as nine-feet in length, take center stage at “The Best and Worst of Frank Gaard,” a retrospective opening this Saturday at the new-ish Northeast gallery CO Exhibitions.

Like most of Gaard’s work, the basement paintings are gleefully lurid in both color and content; neon-seared eyefuls of floppy penises, fishnets, and obscenities. But the exhibition isn’t all brazenly lowbrow. There are also excerpts from an ongoing portrait series as well as recent collaborative works that Gaard has created with his wife, Pamela.

To get a feel for Gaard—whose work has been collected by Walker Art Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA, and The Smithsonian—check out this clip from a studio visit by art collector and Fox 9 news vet Robyne Robinson.

The Best and Worst of Frank Gaard
Opening reception May 7, 6 p.m.–10 p.m.
CO Exhibitions, 1101 Stinson Blvd., Suite 2, Mpls.