Viola Frey: The Space Just Between at GAVLAK, Palm Beach

By April 08, 2021
Viola Frey, Untitled (Nude Woman on Lying Man), 1985; Acrylic on paper, 32 x 23 inches. Image courtesy of GAVLAK Palm Beach.
Installation view of Viola Frey: The Space Just Between: Ceramics and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989 at GAVLAK Palm Beach.

This exhibition facilitates a broad view of Frey’s artistic output as a gesamtkunstwerk in which works on paper, both monumentally- and modestly-scaled ceramics, and a lesser known work in bronze are mutually informative of one another. Viola Frey (The Space Just Between) Sculpture and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989, is a showcase of the astonishing range of an artist best known for her vibrant, monumental figures in clay. 

Frey possessed busy hands and a probing mind, and her pace of creation proceeded at a lively clip over the decades-long arc of her career. The electrified line that animates the teetering biomorphic column of human, animal, and architectural elements reverberates with the dynamic economy of Frey’s sketches in acrylic. A selection of ceramic plates featured in the exhibition demonstrate Frey’s unconventional, three-dimensional approach to sketching.

from the accompanying exhibition text

Viola Frey, Untitled (Sketch with Three Grandmother Figure), 1981-1984; Graphite, pen and ink on paper, 31 x 22 inches. Image courtesy of GAVLAK Palm Beach.
Installation view of Viola Frey: The Space Just Between: Ceramics and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989 at GAVLAK Palm beach.
Viola Frey, Untitled (Seated Nude and Figurines), 1985; Acrylic on paper, 31 x 22 inches. Image courtesy of GAVLAK Palm Beach.

Viola Frey’s (b. 1933, Lodi, California; d. 2004, Oakland) work resides in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, Washington D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; among many others.

Installation view of Viola Frey: The Space Just Between: Ceramics and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989 at GAVLAK Palm Beach.
Viola Frey, Untitled ((Orange Monkey Riding Horse), 2002; Ceramic and Glaze, 26 x 26 x 6 inches. Image courtesy of GAVLAK Palm Beach.
Installation view of Viola Frey: The Space Just Between: Ceramics and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989 at GAVLAK Palm Beach.

Viola Frey: The Space Just Between: Ceramics and Works on Paper 1970 – 1989 is on view at GAVLAK in Palm Beach, Florida through April 18, 2021.

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