Frank Piatek

Full Professor, Painting and Drawing

Frank Piatek has been teaching at SAIC since 1974. He took his sabbatical during the 2021 Academic Year.

Frank Piatek is an artist whose practice lies outside dominant artistic orders, such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Imagism, sidestepping the limitations of such movements regarding real-world forms, illusion, and content. He is known for abstract, illusionistic paintings of intertwined, tubular forms, as well as primal works of sculpture, collage, and installation that explore spirituality, cultural memory, and the creative process. His work hovers between abstraction and figuration, drawing from ancient symbolic forms and alluding to biology, sexuality, the mythic, and the machine. 

Piatek’s art has been exhibited at many institutions, including the Whitney Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, MCA Chicago, Terra Museum of American Art, Richard Gray Gallery Chicago, Roy Boyd Gallery, Phyllis Kind Gallery, and N.A.M.E. Gallery Chicago, and belongs to the public collections of the Smart Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Block Museum of Art, among others.  He has received multiple grants and awards over his long career, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an Illinois Art Council fellowship, the Pauline Potter Palmer Award, and the John G. Curtis Prize.


1971 MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1967 BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Notable Classes Taught:

Art and the Spiritual
Materials and Techniques of Painting
Spiritus Mundi: Art and Esotericism (with Peter O’Leary)