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Robert Fried: Prints, Posters and Drawings

DATES June 06, 1973 through August 26, 1973
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
  • May 21, 1973 Disproving the old adage “You can’t go home again”, Brooklyn-born Robert Fried, a California resident for the past seven years, returns to Brooklyn for his first one-man museum show in the east when ROBERT FRIED: PRINTS, POSTERS AND DRAWINGS opens at The Brooklyn Museum on June 6.

    Highlighting the exhibition of sixty-two prints, posters and drawings are two billboard size screenprints, The Family Dog is Coming Down to Earth and The Wild West, each produced from hand-cut stencils, and a five-minute videotape loop entitled ”Bridge Piece”. The exhibition will be on view through August 26 in the Print Gallery. Admission is free.

    Born in Brooklyn in 1937, Fried studied art at Cooper Union, completing his B.F.A. in 1961. During the late fifties, he also worked in advertising, television, and designed first day covers for commemorative stamps. In 1963 he worked at Pratt Graphic Workshop in lithography under Andrew Stasik, receiving a Fullbright Grant in ‘63-‘64 to work in Spain. This grant was renewed for the following year.

    About a year after he returned from Spain, Fried moved to the West Coast to work on an MFA degree at the San Francisco Art Institute (formerly the California School of Fine Arts). Fried quickly became involved with the San Francisco “scene” of the middle and late sixties and became one of the most innovative and prolific members of a small group of artists designing posters for rock groups and concert ballrooms in the Bay Area.

    Media with a direct message to a widely recognized, growing and specifically American sub-culture, these posters have changed the “face” and social significance of the poster in the United States.

    When the demand for posters began to wane, Fried again turned to the limited edition print. During the last three years he has produced immaculate screenprint editions characterized by a cool, professional, almost off hand technical precision, expert draughtmanship and lush color. The images are funky, poetic and very personal. Fried’s work is not concerned with formal problems. He works from personal experience and reactions to events, playing with free associations, puns which are both literal and visual and uses humor to make his statements accessible. Fried’s work is above all concerned with the primacy of the visual experience, with vitality and energy, and with the immediacy of the printed image.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1973, 012-13.
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