FRANK CROFT (b. 1952, Denver, Colo.)
Largely self-taught, the works of Frank Croft evince an elegant Southwestern sensibility forged in Denver, the city of his birth, and honed in Santa Fe, to which he relocated in 1983. Despite painting in his free time, it was not until 1984 that Croft began to exhibit his work in solo and group shows. Having dealt for over two decades in the works of the Taos Society of Artists and Los Cinco Pintores, Croft’s work as an artist has long been subordinate to his vocation as an art dealer. Yet these contemporaneous careers have proved mutually fecundating—for being able to handle and study the works of such masters has provided Croft with ready insight into their techniques and subject matter, to which his own corpus bears a natural and sincere affinity.
By manipulating color and light and employing various visual cues, Croft strives to capture and evoke the atmospheric essence of New Mexico both visually and spiritually. His paintings of landscapes, churches, and Native American scenes are carefully conceived and adroitly executed in oil colors—revealing a remarkable sharpness of vision and great fidelity of representation. “I find that in my paintings no color straight out of the tube will do justice to my sense of color. I have a certain palette that is unique to my work and then from that base of color there are an infinite number of color possibilities. … It has taken a long time for me to develop this color strategy, and a new color addition rarely appears. When a new color does find its way onto my palette it usually involves a tedious study to get the color the way I want it.”
Croft’s work is featured in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and New Mexico Highlands University.