A native New Orleanian, Frahn Koerner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Orleans: majoring in painting with a minor in photography. She has taught Drawing and 2D Fundamentals as an adjunct Professor at Tulane University and the University of New Orleans.
Koerner is primarily a painter but also uses photography, drawing, mixed media and the occasional installation or video in her work. Her multi layered paintings combine figures, geometry and patterns from nature along with formal issues of line, space, color, value and repetition. Pictorial space is often intended to fluctuate, often eliciting an engaging hypnotic and rhythmic response. The resulting spatial ambiguity is a personal metaphor for the spiritual and the material world co-existing. Ms. Koerner’s symbolic art is idea based, often motivated by universal themes of loss and transformation.
….Paintings of boats— Chinese junks that Koerner said symbolized becalmed seas and a lack of movement, and tiny open crafts symbolizing change. She also painted recurring images of a woman on horseback who, she said, represented movement through time and transformation.
-Elizabeth Cook-Romero; “Di s p l a c e d artists retaking their place” The New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2006)
Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana Koerner spent many hours exploring the natural areas along the Mississippi Gulf coast. The visual and cultural environment of the region had a strong influence on her. Vibrant colors from the semi tropical area and rhythmic patterns inspired by those in nature have been repetitive motifs in her work. She uses imagery such as geometric patterning [referring to Sacred Geometry], Op Art, rituals, boats, horses, and the human figure. An early Catholic upbringing, spiritual symbolism, and Buddhist Philosophy have also inspired her. She employs both camera and computer as fundamental creative tools in her process.
"As a painter, Koerner uses the computer as a “virtual sketchbook,” a tool for fleshing out ideas. In developing a painting, Koerner may create as many as one hundred computer mockups in which she experiments with multiple possibilities for color, scale, and composition. She begins a painting by pouring paint onto a canvas or wood panel, photographs the initial layer, and scans the image onto a computer. Next, she integrates imagery from a variety of sources in her everyday environment into the mix and manipulates the visual data. She then photographs the painting again and repeats the process until satisfied with the results. A finished painting is then based on the computer data but never replicates it.
Koerner is as interested in the layering of meanings as she is of forms, and the amalgam of images in her paintings represents a personal lexicon of emotional, psychological, and spiritual symbolism. Memory and nostalgia, for example are reflected in decorative patterning that she copied from an architectural motif at a church that she visited in Budapest, while the recurring image of a horse refers to her experience of riding horses during childhood.”
- David Rubin; “Digital Louisiana” Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans catalogue (2002)
Frahn Koerner is the mother of 3 grown sons. Her mother was born in Cardiff, Wales UK and Koerner grew up with a multi-cultural American/European perspective.