David Gilhooly - Design New York Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    "Living with the Arts," American Craft, December 1980/January 1981, partially illustrated, p. 24
    John Natsoulas Press, David Gilhooly, Davis, 1992, pp. 59-62 for similar examples

  • Catalogue Essay

    After American ceramists had embraced abstract expressionism in the mid-1960s, a new movement within the movement began to take shape. “Funk,” a term coined by curator Peter Selz in a 1967 article in Art in America, gave rise to what he described as the “anti-form” and a group of artists drawing from Dadaism, Beat poetry, and jazz music to create work with vibrant, provocative and sometimes vulgar imagery. Selz organized an exhibition the same year titled “Funk” at University of California, Berkeley, introducing twenty-six ceramists as proponents of the movement, including Robert Arneson, Peter Voulkos, Ken Price and David Gilhooly.

    While Arneson was Funk’s leader, David Gilhooly, his former studio assistant, became its star student. Gilhooly used ceramics as a means of political and social satire. He conceived of the character “Frog Fred,” a protagonist used repeatedly throughout his work in various scenarios within a fantasy “Frog World.” Often the frogs and their animal companions recreate historical events or mimic historic or contemporary figures. In many cases, the frogs are depicted as classic American diner food. Gilhooly’s focus shifted to food in the 1970s while he was on a regimented diet and despite having gallery representation, Gilhooly would often sell these works at roadside stands as a commentary on consumer culture. The ceramic sculptures in the present lot are representative of this period of his work, which helped cement Gilhooly’s iconic role within the Funk movement and American ceramic history.

    David Gilhooly’s ceramic sculptures are found in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

The Modern Form: Property from the Collection of Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum


Group of seventeen sculptures

Glazed earthenware, found objects.
Tallest: 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm) high
Fourteen sculptures signed and dated.

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $22,500

Contact Specialist
Cordelia Lembo
Specialist, Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1265


New York Auction 12 December 2017