Viola Frey, ‘Untitled (Man in Suit Looking Down, Figurines)’, 1983, Artists' Legacy Foundation

Artists’ Legacy Foundation, Oakland, CA

About Viola Frey

Over the course of her five-decade career, Viola Frey produced an body of artwork that spans from ceramic and bronze sculpture, to paintings, and drawings, and includes explorations in the mediums of glass and photography. Frey is best known for her larger-than-life, colorfully glazed ceramic sculptures of men and women. Texture, bright color, and a focus on the human figure dominate her diverse body of work. She was initially influenced by Bay Area Figurative painter Richard Diebenkorn, abstract artists George Rickey and Mark Rothko, and potter Katherine Choy.

Frey, along with fellow ceramic sculptors Robert Arneson and Peter Voulkos, was instrumental in bridging the barrier between craft and fine art to push forward the medium of ceramic sculpture in the 1960s and 70s. A lifelong teacher and maker, Frey retired as professor emerita from California College of the Arts in 1999, co-founded Artists’ Legacy Foundation in 2000, and continued to work until she passed away in 2004.

— Submitted by Artists' Legacy Foundation

American, 1933-2004, Lodi, CA, United States, based in Oakland, CA, United States

Solo Shows on Artsy

2015
Viola Frey: A Personal Iconography, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York
1984
Viola Frey at Whitney Museum of American Art, Artists' Legacy Foundation, New York

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Tiny Treasures, Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York
2016
EXPOSED: Heads, Busts, and Nudes, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams