Dianna Frid, Creating Playful Sculptures and 2D Works

I have been following Dianna Frid’s progression of work for the last 6 six years, and I have to say that her current exhibition is the most exciting to date. The Vertical Shadows is showing at Devening Projects + Editions, with a gallery talk on April 12th at 1 p.m. The exhibition is up until May 7, 2008 and will be available for viewing on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment.

Untitled Number 1
Dianna Frid. Untitled #1 (Cloud, Mountain), from the series
The Vertical Shadows. 2007. Cardboard, wood, cloth, plaster,
plastic, paper, acrylic, wax and papier-mache, 5.5' x 2' x 2.25'.


Frid’s exhibition is a room full of enchantment, perhaps subconsciously influenced by the duality of two cultures (she was born in Mexico and lives in Chicago) and differences in weather. Her sculptures and wall pieces are both playful and serious. There is a “handmade” element that shows strongly in her work — materials such as cardboard, plaster, cloth, aluminum foil, paint, and wood cut — assembled to make intriguing sculptures full of bright colors and asymmetrical forms. There is also an element of pattern and design in her works that is intuitive and carefully thought out. Light, snow, and elemental nature give Frid’s work a structured narrative. Standing among her sculptures, I felt a sense of wanting to play and had to kneel down to inspect and see them from a child’s eye view.

Untitled Number 6
Dianna Frid. Untitled #6 (Last of Fog), from the series
The Vertical Shadows. 2008. Cardboard, wood, cloth, plaster,
paint and ink, paper, acrylic, and papier-mâché, 48” x 47” x 24”.

Color and light are two key elements in Frid’s art, and the more time you spend with her works, the more phenomena appear. In one of her sculptural piece, a stacked box of triangles sits on a tree-shaped piece of snow. Thin blue lines criss cross in repeated triangles along the side of the form, and a solid gold band of triangles forming irregular diamond shapes in one line also appear. The more time you spend viewing the object, you will see an iridescent yellow glow on the snow shape. The top of the sculpture is painted a bright yellow with a shallow aluminum triangle hole at the very top. If you look inside the hole, you will be surprised with a subtle yellow light, similar to sunshine reflecting, and a tiny white snowball shape thrown in the bottom.

Multiple materials — wood, cardboard, metal, cloth, plaster, plastic, paper, acrylic, wax, plasticine, rubber, papier-mâché – and purposeful colors (blue, teal, turquoise, white, orange, yellow and green) make these sculptural forms become towers of intrigue. Standing nearly body size with elements of antennas and clouds floating about, the pieces interact well together and definitely are like toys for adults to see and experience with the pleasure and happiness of childhood being re-lived.

A Brontology Instance
Dianna Frid. A Brontology Instance, from the series
Engines of Weather. 2008. Mixed media on paper, height 12” x 9”.

Frid’s carefully crafted collages on the walls are made with mixed media, such as aluminum foil, paper, tape, and paint to create pattern, lines, layers, geometric shapes, and color dealing with the theme of weather. The two-dimensional works are a fitting 12″ x 9″ in size and positioned well with the sculptural forms to create a dialogue of color, material, and shapes. The intense color, patterns, and line designs are whimsical, fun, and playful with many layers subtly allowing the viewer to see some of the process of creating. It is definitely true that Frid uses all types of images from life around her, and collages and assembles them into a fascinating creative world.

Frid’s work has been recently displayed at PS1-MOMA, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Drawing Center, New York; and CROXHAPOX in Ghent, Belgium.

Dianna Frid may be contacted at diannafrid@gmail.com.

For more of Dianna Frid’s artwork, click here ArtStyle Blog Gallery.

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