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Michael Frimkess

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Michael Frimkess
Modern and Contemporary Post-World War II 1945 - present Contemporary Ceramist
American, b. January 8, 1937 Michael Frimkess, a native of Los Angeles, grew up in Boyle Heights. He studied at Otis with Peter Voulkos in 1955 as part of an experiment in arts education for prodigy youth. He responded immediately to the revolutionary mood of the artists working there. At the age of 19, Michael moved to Italy and worked in a ceramics factory. Back in Pennsylvania, in the early 1960s he developed his unique and distinctive technique of throwing dry and employing classical pottery forms. Like Betty Woodman, Michael gives his forms distinct cultural references like a Greek krater and Chinese ginger jar. Frimkess says that "sometimes we will leave the evidence of the process to celebrate the fresh quality resulting from the waterless technique, rather than giving the clay a refined, slick, or factory-product effect."
Exhibitions
2007 - 2009: “CRAFT IN AMERICA: EXPANDING TRADITIONS,” Arkansas Arts Center, April 13 - June 24, 2007, Little Rock, Arkansas; Museum of Contemporary Craft, July 22 - September 23, 2007, Portland, Oregon; Mingei International Museum, October 20, 2007 - January 27, 2008, San Diego, California; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, February 22 - May 4, 2008, Houston, Texas; Cranbrook Art Museum, June 6 - September 14, 2008, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, October 11, 2008 - January 18, 2009, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fuller Craft Museum, February 21 - May 25, 2009, Brockton, Massachusetts
2004: "Standing Room Only," Scripps 60th Ceramic Annual Exhibition, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, Calfornia
2000 - 2001: "Vessels of Satire," The Art of Magdalena and Michael Frimkess, October 28, 2000 - January 6, 2001, Louis Stern Fine Arts, West Hollywood, California
2000: "Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950 - 2000," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1999: Joslyn Fine Art Center (Torrance Art Museum), Torrance, California
1998 - 1999: "Feast of Function," Gallery of Functional Art, Santa Monica, California
1997: "Tantalizing Teapots," Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, California
1997: Collaboration, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, New York
1996: Collaboration, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, New York
1995: Two Man Show, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, New York
1994 - 1996: "Revolution in Clay: The Marer Collection of Contemporary Ceramics," October 22 - December 4, 1994, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California; January 8 - February 26, 1995, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida; March 25 - May 21, 1995, Sunrise Museums, Charleston, West Virginia; June 11 - July 30, 1995, Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Kalamazoo, Michigan; August 27 - October 15, 1995, Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio; November 12, 1995 - January 7, 1996, Laguna Gloria Art Museum. Austin, Texas; January 28 - March 17, 1996, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas; April 14 - June 2, 1996, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia; September 15 - November 3, 1996, Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, Alabama
1994: Group Show, Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona, California
1992 - 1995: Collaboration with Magdalena Frimkess, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri
1992: Group Show, R Mutt 1917 Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1992: "California Legacy: Concepts in Clay 1930 - 1990," NCFCA Conference, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1990 - Present: Collaboration, Little Tokyo Clayworks, Los Angeles, California
1989-1992: Artist's Studio Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California
1988: Project Rembrandt, New York, New York
1985/1988: Cross Creek Gallery, Malibu, California
1985: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1985: Group Show, Works Gallery, Long Beach, California
1984: "Art in Clay," Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, California
1984: "Contemporary Classicism," California State University, Los Angeles, California
1984: "Equal Time," Angels Gate Center Inc. (Angels Gate Cultural Center), San Pedro, California
1984: "A Passionate Vision," DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts
1984: "Earth and Fire," Pomona College, Claremont, California
1984: Group Shows, Gilles Mansillion Gallery, Santa Monica, California
1984: Group Show, Functional Art Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
1983: Group Show, "Ceramic Echoes," Kansas City Art Museum, Kansas City, Kansas
1983: Group Show, Cohen Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1982: "Point of View, 8 L.A. Artists," Exploratorium, Cal State, California
1982: "Otis Clay, The Revolutionary Years '54 - '64," Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1982: "Continuity and Change,Three Generations of American Potters" Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, Pennsylvania
1982: "Frimkess: The Ceramics of Michael Frimkess and Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, 1956 - 1981," Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1981: Group Teapot Show, Marcia Rodell Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1981: "Centering on Contemporary Clay: American Ceramics from the Joan Mannheimer Collection," University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa
1980: "Chunichi Simbun Annual International Ceramic Invitational," Gallery of Chunichi Shimbun, Japan
1980 - 1983: "The Contemporary American Potter," UNI Gallery of Art, University of Northern Iowa, Ceder Falls, Iowa. Travelling exhibition under the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Services (SITES)
1979: "A Century of Ceramics in the United States 1878 - 1978," Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York and national tour
1979: "West Coast Clay Spectrum," Downtown Gallery of the Security Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles, California
1979: "Tea Pot Show," Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania
1977 - 1978: "Contemporary Ceramics: The Artist's Viewpoint," Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan; Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kresge Art Museum; Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; Hackley Art Museum, Muskegon, Michigan
1977: "Michael Frimkess Ceramics," Mekler Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1977: "Foundations in Clay," Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
1977: "Ceramics Invitational," University Art Gallery (Sweeney Art Gallery), University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California
1977: "Michael Frimkess, Retrospective 1960 - 1976," James Willis Gallery (James Willis Tribal Art Gallery), San Francisco, California
1977: "100-Plus, Current Directions in Southern California Art," Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
1976: "Teapots," Quay Gallery, San Francisco, California
1976: "The Fred and Mary Marer Collection," Traveling Exhibition to Galleries in 7 Museums in 7 Australian cities, sponsored by the Crafts Board of the Australian Council, Sydney, Australia
1976: "Clay: The Medium and the Method," University Art Galleries, University of California, Santa Barbara, California
1976: "Retrospective of Sculpture in the Bay Area 1," James Willis Gallery (James Willis Tribal Art Gallery), San Francisco, California
1975: "Contemporary Clay," California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
1975: "National Ceramics Invitational," University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
1975: "Bay Area Sculpture," De Anza College, Cupertino, California
1975: "Masterwork Exhibition," Carborundum Museum of Ceramic Art, Niagara Falls, New York
1974: "Michael Frimkess," One-person exhibition, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
1974: "California Ceramics & Glass," Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
1974: "The Fred and Mary Marer Collection," 30th Annual Ceramics Exhibition, Lang Art Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California
1974: "Public Sculpture/Urban Environment," Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
1973: "The Plastic Earth," A National Ceramics Invitational Exhibition sponsored by Kohler Co., John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1973: "Contemporary Ceramics 1," The Art Galleries, University of California, Santa Barbara, California
1972: "International Ceramics 1972," The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England, travelling
1972: "Contemporary Ceramic Art - The United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan," The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
1971: "California Design Eleven," Pasadena Art Museum Triennial (Norton Simon Museum), Pasadena, California
1970: "Teacup, Teapots, Gorillas, Etc.," An Exhibition of Ceramics, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1970: "Contemporary Ceramics 1," Art Galleries, University of California at Santa Barbara, California
1970: "The Plastic Earth," John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
1969 - 1971: "Objects: U.S.A," Kansas City Art Institute Invitational, Kansas City, Missouri; Johnson Collection of Contemporary Crafts, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D. C. Travelling
1969: Scripps Ceramic Annual Exhibition, Scripps College, Claremont, California
1969: "California Ceramics," University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
1967: "California Design Ten," Pasadena Art Museum Triennial (Norton Simon Museum), Pasadena, California
1966: "Abstract Expressionist Ceramics," University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
1965: "New Ceramic Forms," Museum of Contemporary Crafts (Museum of Arts & Design), New York, New York; Aegis Gallery, New York, New York
1964: Allan Stone Gallery, New York, New York
1963: "California Contemporary Sculpture," Kaiser Center Gallery, Oakland, California
1963: "Work in Clay by Six Artists," Assemblage Fall-In Shelter, San Francisco Art Institute Invitational, San Francisco, California
1962: San Francisco Art Institute Invitational, San Francisco, California
1962: Scripps Ceramic Annual Exhibition, Scripps College, Claremont, California
1960: "ObjectMakers," Pomona College Invitational, Claremont, California; Los Angeles County Art Museum, Annual Competition, Los Angeles, California
1959: San Diego Museum, Annual Competition, Ceramic Sculptures, San Diego, California
1957: Annual Competition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1953: "Artists Under 33 Show," Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, California

Collections
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Betty Asher Collection, Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Smits Collection, Los Angeles, California
Oakland Museum of California, Permanent Collection, Oakland, California
Johnson Collection of Contemporary Crafts, Museum of Contemporary Crafts (Museum of Arts & Design), New York, New York
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
The Marer Collection, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, California
Lannon Foundation, Palm Beach, Florida
Allan Stone Gallery, New York, New York
Ms. Laurie Guen, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California

Work History
1985-1986: Teacher, William Grant Stills Learning Center, California
1981-1982: Teacher, for special student at Otis Parsons Art Institute, Los Angeles, California
1976-1979: Teacher, UCLA Extension, Big Turn Pottery Studio, Venice, California
1975: Teacher, Ceramics Department, California State University, Hayward, California
1974: Teacher, Hinckley Summer School of Crafts, Maine
1970: Private Workshop Instructor, Big Turn Pottery Studio, Venice, California
1969: Teacher / Artist in Residence; University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
1966: Teacher, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
1965: Teacher, Summer Anti-Poverty Program, East Harlem, New York
1964: Teaching Assistant, Columbia University Teachers College, New York
1962: Potter, Design Techniques Corporation, Stadsburg, Pennsylvania
1957: Potter, Ceramic Factory, Matera, Italy

Education
1954: Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, California

Born
January 8, 1937, Los Angeles, California


Artist Objects

Amphora 2001.53

People 2006.141


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