Kim Frohsin – Studio Visit

I am absolutely smitten with Kim Frohsin‘s work! I first encountered her figurative drawings in More Than Your Selfie at New Museum Los Gatos last year and then I fell in love with her figurative painting at Connect and Collect at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose (even making an early bid on her piece which I sadly did not win) in October. This year I was able to catch her show at Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco and then actually be in a group show with her, Honoring the Legacy of David Park, at Santa Clara University which ran in April! When I finally got to meet her in person at the show’s reception, I jumped at the chance to arrange a studio visit – which just took place last week on one of those rare, exceedingly hot days in the city.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Kim Frohsin moved to California in 1979, studying at San Diego State University, San Diego and l’Institut pour les Etudiants Etrangers in Aix-en-Provence before earning her BFA at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Her current studio is in the historic Noonan Building of Pier 70, San Francisco in the actual studio of early abstract expressionist, Frank Lobdell! Her work is widely collected and has been acquired by the San Jose Museum of Art, the Crocker Art  Museum and the De Young Art Museum!

Frohsin has an amazing facility with the figure, her lines are fresh and gestural, poses dynamic and creative, her process is unique and absorbing and her commitment is full on!

Each painting in this series, Wigs, Silhouettes & Suspension, begins with a drawing from life upon which areas are masked off with razors and tape, paint is applied with a palette knife and pigments are rubbed on. No brushes. Sometimes the initial drawing is glimpsed here and there. There is such an immediacy and vitality to the work, in composition, application of material, juxtaposition of color and the way it is used to express shadows and highlights. I was delighted to delve into a trove of these gorgeous paintings, do a little shopping and a whole lot of coveting!

It was fascinating to get a glimpse of the diverse bodies of work represented in her studio, both archived and current, and hear her talk about her process and experience.

I was quite overwhelmed by each unearthed piece!



Toy car mixed media painting.

Self-portrait on a stack of books. You can learn so much about an artist from her studio. Kim’s is full of interesting books and  photos and quotes (and a few wigs and hula hoops).

I thought that Egon Schiele might be one of Frohsin’s influences and was intrigued to find this lovely photographic overlay of the artist over a picture of the Austrian artist on her studio wall.

Cross Walk – Acrylic, pencils, and ink on Paper

Kim has this photo of Frank Lobdell tacked up at Noonan building, can you guess the other two artists?

I brought back with me Kim Frohsin’s gorgeous book Figures with Edges 2007-2008 (thanks Kim!) and am pouring over it at home! It can be ordered (along with Two Minutes and Counting and Portraits of Numbers: 2010-2014) directly from her website using this link.

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