Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey

Overview

At times, photographer, painter, sculptor but always a ceramicist Viola Frey was a particularly innovative artist who found inspiration in everyday objects and materials. Best known for her large-scale statues, or monumental figures and bricolage assemblages, her work is often referred to as anthropological in its many references to popular culture, the visual arts and the history of ceramics. Having studied as a graduate student under Mark Rothko, Frey's art also conveys emotion in her use of color. It is with ...
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Overview

At times, photographer, painter, sculptor but always a ceramicist Viola Frey was a particularly innovative artist who found inspiration in everyday objects and materials. Best known for her large-scale statues, or monumental figures and bricolage assemblages, her work is often referred to as anthropological in its many references to popular culture, the visual arts and the history of ceramics. Having studied as a graduate student under Mark Rothko, Frey's art also conveys emotion in her use of color. It is with color and contemporary objects collected in her many travels across the United States that Frey explores the notion of aging, the nature of human relationships, and also what defines a life in twentieth-century society. This monograph follows Frey's career from her time as a student through to her years exhibiting at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. New facts and interpretations of her life's work and how it figured into California's Bay Area art scene and into the larger context of twentieth-century art and ceramics are also discussed. Essays are contributed by Davira S. Taragin, former director of Exhibitions and Programs at the Racine Art Museum, which organized the study and exhibition of Frey's work; Patterson Sims, former curator at the Whitney Museum and deputy director of education and research at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Susan Jefferies, curator of the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Viola Frey (1933–2004) was best known for her monumental, colorful clay figures, but her work and life encompassed much more, as this monograph, which accompanies a 2009–10 traveling exhibition, reveals. Frey worked most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area and, like her West Coast contemporaries Robert Arneson and Peter Voulkos, helped make clay into a fine art medium. Frey also used bricolage extensively, creating tableaus and compositions inspired by her collection of flea-market finds. With 69 color and 12 black-and-white plates as well as a chronology and a list of collections featuring Frey's work, the book also includes three essays by Taragin (former director of exhibitions & programs, Racine Art Museum), Patterson Sims (formerly with the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York), and Susan Jefferies (curator, Gardiner Museum) that provide biographical background and critical analysis of Frey's life, work, and methods. VERDICT This is the first in-depth book about Frey, and it will be enthusiastically received by anyone interested in sculpture or ceramics.—Martha Smith, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555953058
  • Publisher: Hudson Hills Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2009
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,032,675
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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