FRANCES FOY was born in Chicago on April 11, 1890, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her outstanding teacher was George Bellows. She has painted in .Sweden, France, Italy and Germany. She is a member of the Chicago Society of Artists, the Chicago No-Jury Society of Artists and 10 Artists (Chicago), and has exhibited throughout the United States. One artist exhibitions of her work have been held at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Romany Club, the Walden Gallery, the Chicago Woman's Aid and Increase Robinson's Studio Gallery-all in Chicago. She has won the Marshall Fuller Holmes Prize, the Jules F. Brower Prize and the Frank G. Logan Prize at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Society of Artists Gold Medal. Her work has been written about in Chicago and New York newspapers and magazines.
When an artist is confronted with questions as to why or how he paints he generally says he paints because he must and as he feels. On consideration he finds much, much more to say, tho' it be but an elaboration of his first brief statement. In painting I consider subject matter as all-important. It is the magic key which unbolts the imagination. It also gives direction and character to the way a picture is painted. Consider, let us say, a bowl of fruit, and then a homeless old man asleep in a doorway. The rich color and voluptuous forms of the one contrast sharply with the somber color and rigid outlines of the other. Each calls for a different way of intensifying and clarifying to make the picture true. Again, the artist may view these same subjects more personally, feeling with horror the fleetingness of the fruit's beauty, and regarding with warm sympathy the old man enjoying care-free sleep even in a strange doorway-this and endless variations, each calling for its particular artistic expression. So in painting I use whatever I have of knowledge and skill and feeling to portray the subject the way I see it. As long as any artistic quality-color, rhythm, abstract form-furthers this portrayal, I consider it good. If not, it is unnecessary. In fact any such art convention used for its own sake seems a kind of art self-consciousness, obtruding between the picture and the beholder. This is not saying that certain peculiarities of an artist's work, like certain endearing mannerisms of our friends, detract from our enjoyment of either. Rather they add to it. But their charm is lost when they appear to be used consciously. I live in Chicago and paint what I see about me. Only to this extent is my work of Chicago or of these times. Francis Foy