Viola Frey
Family Portrait, 1995
Ceramic with glazes
84 x 79 x 29 1/2 inches
Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Rena Bransten, 1996

Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey

April 24 – August 16, 2009

The Racine Art Museum and the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, are pleased to announce the first major exhibition of artist Viola Frey’s work since her death in 2004. Bigger, Better, More features Frey’s colossal clay figures, as well as a selection of her paintings and ceramic plates. After closing in Racine on August 16, 2009,  this exhibition will travel to the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, from September 10, 2009 through January 10, 2010; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, from February 3 through May 30, 2010; and the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, from August 13 through November 28, 2010.

Interested in art at an early age, Viola Frey often grumbled about growing up in the farming town of Lodi, California due to her perceived lack of encouragement and exposure to art. Yet, it is her family and their struggle to make ends meet on their grape farm that actually shaped her aesthetic and approach to art. Her grandmothers represented the kind of strong, independent women Frey admired. Also, her mother was often the inspiration behind her powerful ceramic female figures.

Frey often created bricolages, which are collage-like clay assemblages. In these sculptures, inspiration came from objects found or purchased at flea markets that were seen as junk to others, but had meaning to her. Nonetheless, she is best known for her brilliantly colored, literally larger-than-life ceramic figures, ranging up to 12 feet tall, that she created later in her career.

This retrospective at RAM features her works on loan from the collections of major American museums, such as: The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey

April 24 – August 16, 2009
Viola Frey
Family Portrait, 1995
Ceramic with glazes
84 x 79 x 29 1/2 inches
Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Rena Bransten, 1996

The Racine Art Museum and the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, are pleased to announce the first major exhibition of artist Viola Frey’s work since her death in 2004. Bigger, Better, More features Frey’s colossal clay figures, as well as a selection of her paintings and ceramic plates. After closing in Racine on August 16, 2009,  this exhibition will travel to the Gardiner Museum, Toronto, from September 10, 2009 through January 10, 2010; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, from February 3 through May 30, 2010; and the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, from August 13 through November 28, 2010.

Interested in art at an early age, Viola Frey often grumbled about growing up in the farming town of Lodi, California due to her perceived lack of encouragement and exposure to art. Yet, it is her family and their struggle to make ends meet on their grape farm that actually shaped her aesthetic and approach to art. Her grandmothers represented the kind of strong, independent women Frey admired. Also, her mother was often the inspiration behind her powerful ceramic female figures.

Frey often created bricolages, which are collage-like clay assemblages. In these sculptures, inspiration came from objects found or purchased at flea markets that were seen as junk to others, but had meaning to her. Nonetheless, she is best known for her brilliantly colored, literally larger-than-life ceramic figures, ranging up to 12 feet tall, that she created later in her career.

This retrospective at RAM features her works on loan from the collections of major American museums, such as: The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

Judith and David Flegel Fund
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation

Gold Sponsors
Anonymous
David Charak
Silver Sponsors
Art Bridges
A.C. Buhler Family
Andis Foundation
Baird
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Annette Hirsh Family
J. Jeffers & Co.
Dorothy MacVicar
RDK Foundation

Jan Serr and John Shannon
Bronze Sponsors

Anonymous
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Butcher & Barrel/Amos Los Tacos
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour
William A. Guenther
Tom and Sharon Harty
Tony and Andrea Hauser
David and Judy Hecker
Bradley Lynch
Carlotta Miller
Larry and Barbara Newman
The Norbell Foundation
The Prairie School
Georgiana Treivush
Twin Disc, Inc.
Deb and Will Walker

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