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Abstract Expressionism at Foster Gwin Gallery in San Francisco sculpture

VIOLA FREY (1933  – 2004), Untitled (Blue Face, Pitcher, and Two Squares) VF-3011P, 1988, Glazed and painted ceramic, 25“ x 25“ x 10”

Provenance:    Private Collection, San Francisco, CA
Private Collection (Acquired directly from the Artist)

Exhibited:        San Francisco, Transamerica Pyramid Lobby, Functional Fantasy, September-November 1990

Viola Frey
American (1933 – 2004)

Viola Frey, a painter and sculptor, was born and raised in Lodi, CA.  She attended Stockton College in California. Frey later went on to study at the California College of Arts and Crafts, where she graduated in 1956 with a BFA in Fine Arts. In New Orleans, LA, two years later, she earned her MFA in Fine Arts from Tulane University, where she studied under Mark Rothko, an Abstract Expressionist painter, and George Rickey, a sculptor.

Frey primarily focused on ceramics, but applied glaze in the style of abstract painters and incorporated knickknacks into the molds, making her work an original and defining addition to Modern Art. In the early 1960s, Frey continued to create sculptures and paintings while working as a billing clerk at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY. She returned to California in the mid-1960s, and taught ceramic arts at the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Frey’s work has been displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio, and the Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan. Her notable works include the collection Viola Frey: Plates 1968–1994, which was exhibited on a countrywide tour, and the collection Larger than Life: Ceramic Figures by Viola Frey, which included colorful sculptures of nine-foot-tall men and women in a cartoonish style. Other pieces from Frey include Focus on the Figure and Relationships/Interrelationships, both of which she completed later in her life. Frey died in her home in Oakland, CA, at the age of 70.

2010 Legacy in Paint and Clay, Sylvia White Gallery
1999 Nancy Hoffman Gallery New York, NY
1998 Rena Bransten Gallery San Francisco, CA
1997 Flanders Contemporary Art Minneapolis, MN
1994–1996 Viola Frey: Plates, Traveling Exhibition Ohio, New York, Washington, Texas
1995 Rena Bransten Gallery San Francisco, CA
1995 Carin Delcourt Van Krimpen Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1994 The Woman’s Mentor Show, San Francisco Art Commission Gallery San Francisco, CA
1994 Nancy Hoffman Gallery New York, NY
1993–1994 Interiors, Champion International Corporation Stamford, CT
1993 20 Years, Nancy Hoffman Galleries NY, NY
1993 Majolica, Jane Hartsook Gallery New York, NY
1993 Modernism: Craft Breakthrough in N. California, California Crafts Museum SF CA
1992 The Figure: Two Bay Area Artists, Christopher Brow, Gallery of Art, Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS
1987–1988 Asher/Faure Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1982 Mark Twain Bank Kansas City, Missouri
1980 Quay Gallery San Francisco, CA
1977 Wenger Gallery La Jolla, CA
1975 Hank Baum Gallery San Francisco, CA
1974 Wenger Gallery San Francisco, CA
1967 Contemporary Crafts Association Portland, OR
1964 “San Francisco Art Festival”, SF CA1962 “California State Fair”, Sacramento, CA
1961 “California Craftsmen Bicentennial” Oakland, CA

Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX
Avampato Discovery Museum, Charleston, WV
Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH
Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Cité de la Céramique, Sèvres, France
Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY
Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Charleston, WV
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH
de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, CA
Everson Art Museum, Syracuse, NY
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
Foosaner Art Museum, Melbourne, FL
Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Mark Arts, Wichita, KS
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL
Musée d’Arte Moderne de Paris, Paris, France
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Design, Zürich, Switzerland
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, East Logan, UT
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Sacramento, CA
San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Shigaraki Ceramic Sculpture Park, Shiga, Japan
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
Stedelijk Museum ’s-Hertogenbosch, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, Tucson, AZ
The Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO
The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
University Art Collections, University of Denver, Denver, CO
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom
Western Gallery & Public Art Collection, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Zuckerman Art Museum, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA