10: Viola Frey (1933-2004, USA)
Viola Frey (1933-2004, USA)
Ceramic and Egyptian Paste; ht. 5, dia. 26 in.
Frey considered all her plates to be sketches. This circle was her zone for experiment and play. When asked why the plates were so moderately priced Frey replied, "I do not want to feel subconscious when making plates. The higher the price the more inhibited I become. This way I do not have to worry. Later collectors will sort the good and the bad, but for me plates are a guilt-free joy and I want to keep it that way." They do not get much better than this example with its concentric ring of heads in relief. The spiral plays perfectly with the round canvas of the plate and creates movement at the same time, retaining a spontaneous vivacity that distinguishes Frey's best work. The use of china paint is lush, colorful and thickly applied. This work was exhibited at Smith Gallery, London in 1988 where the current owner, a British collector, acquired the work.
Reference: Frey, Viola and Kuspit, Donald. Viola Frey: Plates, 1968-1994, New York: Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 1994.