James Harris Gallery Downtown
May 3–June 23, Wednesdays–Saturdays
Recommended by Joule Zelman
This solo exhibition brings together six drawings and three sculptures by California artist Viola Frey spanning from 1975 to 1997. A student of Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko, Frey worked largely in ceramics—often towering, imaginatively fashioned statues of clothed and unclothed humans, each of which seems to possess a personality. The sculptures at this gallery are much smaller, but the sturdy homunculi of, for example, Western Civilization Diptych #1, have more soul and beauty than their rough surfaces and simple, indented eyes suggest. In some of her most striking two-dimensional images, powerfully built nude women loom over puppet-like men in suits, an interesting inversion of the naked, vulnerable woman-as-object so important to the Western figurative tradition.