Viola Frey in Sonoma, CA

I’m starting my blog with one of my favorite artists. Viola Frey’s career retrospective is at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in Sonoma, CA. The exhibition features over 100 pieces and runs though December 29th. The prolific Viola Frey, died in 2002 at the age of 70 in Oakland, CA. She was once a professor at California College of the Arts. Frey worked in sculpture, painting and drawing. Her larger than life colorful clay sculptures, and painting style, mixed with her method of firing in segments makes her work almost immediately recognizable. I’ll provide titles under images when I have them. This show was overwhelming in every good way possible.

Seated Figure with Vase, 1998. Ceramic and glazes. Wallpaper from the series Artist’s Mind/Studio/World, 1992. Reproduction vinyl of silkscreen original.
The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization, 1992. Ceramic and glazes.
This was Frey’s largest sculpture ever. Originally an outdoor commission for a sculpture park in San Francisco, in 1992, it was on view for three days before it was vandalized and deinstalled. It was exhibited one more time in 1998 and has since been in storage. This is the first time it’s been shown in 20 years.
China Goddess Group, ca. 1979-81. Whiteware and glazes. One of Frey’s first large scale ceramic assemblages.
Father’s Farm, ca. 1975-76 Oil an acrylic on canvas
The Voyage, 1981 Oil on canvas
Planet Full of People, 1969 Ceramic and glazes
Desert Toys Installation, ca. 1975-77. Ceramic and glazes
Apparently this installation was inspired by Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. I’ll show you Judy Chicago in a later post. Frey’s painting on many of these pieces looks like it was influenced by Matisse.
Who wouldn’t want to drink out of this goblet?
Viola Frey at the lake behind the two galleries.
If you do go to see the Frey show, and I hope you do, don’t miss El Molino Central. Amazing Mexican food nearby.

9 thoughts on “Viola Frey in Sonoma, CA

  1. Every once in a while I have to come back in to this early blog and look at all the Viola Frey images again…she stirs me deeply.

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