Past Exhibition

John Frame: Mephistopheles and the Swan Girl

Claremont Museum of Art
200 W. First Street, CA 91711

John Frame Brings the Drama of Faust to the Claremont Museum of Art

The Claremont Museum of Art exhibition John Frame: Mephistopheles and the Swan Girl will present work by widely-known artist John Frame based on his production designs for the 2018 staging of Gounod’s Faust by The Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Portland Opera. The exhibition will also include Frame’s work on the Academy Award-winning short film The Swan Girl, 2016. Both projects relate to the Faust story and have continued to exert a strong influence on Frame’s work.

The exhibition will open at noon on Saturday, December 4 with special evening hours from 6 to 9 p.m. during Art Walk and will remain on view through March 20, 2022.

The Claremont Museum of Art is located in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First Street next to the Metrolink Claremont Station. The museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

About the Exhibition

In a 2018 interview with Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein, Lyric Opera’s director Kevin Newbury offered this insight about John Frame’s work: “His art sees the world in a completely different way, reflecting the human condition in a way that’s poignant, dark and funny. Our production team is taking his work as our inspiration. Because much of the opera is about Faust’s search for knowledge and truth, we portray him as an artist, searching for truth through his art. We see Faust trying to engage with the world and we see that reflected through his art.”

A selection of work produced in preparation for these productions including numerous small detailed sculptural pieces, cutout silhouettes for on-stage animation, projection templates, animation sequences, photographs, drawings and video will be displayed with specialized stage lighting. The Sleeper’s Twin features footage from the 2016 film The Swan Girl, the 2018 Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Faust and collaborative work over a ten year period between artist John Frame and filmmaker Johnny Coffeen.

About the Artist

John Frame received his MFA from CGU in 1981. He lives in Wrightwood and has been making sculpture in Southern California since the early 1980s; his work has been exhibited extensively in the United States as well as in Europe, Japan, and China. A two-time recipient of Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Talent Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a J. Paul Getty Museum’s Individual Artist Fellowship.

Exhibitions include a major survey of the artist’s work at LACMA in 1992, Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980 to 2005 at Long Beach Museum of Art in 2005 and Three Fragments of a Lost Tale at The Huntington in 2011 and the Portland Art Museum in 2012.

His work can be found in more than 300 public and private collections, including the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Renwick Gallery of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Southern California. Learn more about the artist and his work at and on Instagram @JohnFrameStudio.