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.

Honoring the Legacy of David Park at SCU April 3−28

Yesterday was the opening of this invitational and juried exhibition at the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building at Santa Clara Univeristy which runs until April 28. Curated by John Seed upon invitation from Kelly Detweiler, Professor of Art, Santa Clara University, this show includes the work of two invited artists, Jennifer Pochinski and Kyle Staver as well as 35 artists chosen by jurors, John Seed, DeWitt Cheng, Andrea Pappas and Jessica Phillips. These works were not selected as mere imitations of the paintings of David Park, the founder of Bay Area Figurative painting who turned to the figure in the time of abstraction, but to honor “artistic independence and integrity” and “his interest in painting people and places that held personal meaning”. It’s amazing to appreciate each artist’s approach to the figure and then to contemplate how individual pieces resonate and diverge with each other!

On Saturday, April 15, there will be a panel discussion at 4 pm (doors open at 3 pm)  followed by a reception.

I am so thrilled to have my painting Blue Corset included in this exciting show, with the work of so many talented artists!

Alix Bailey – K – oil on linen



Sue Ellen R. Leys – Asbury Surf (detail)

Phyllis Gorsen – Metro (detail)

Irene Cuadrado Hernandez – Julia Dreaminess (detail)

Melinda Cootsona – Horizon (detail)

Janet Norris – The River Comes In  (detail)

Nicholas Mancini – Galen, Shift (detail)

Jose Luis Ceña Ruiz – The Floral Dress (detail)

Kurt Solmssen – Reading Sociology (detail)

Linda Christensen – Lifeguard (detail)

Jennifer Pochinski – Strand (detail)

Kim Frohsin – Nightime at the Fair

William Rushton – Afternoon Light (detail)

Jill Madden – Super Moon Ski (detail)

Ashley Norwood Cooper – Glass Table (detail)

James Bland – Gold Trousers

Kathy Liao – Float (detail)

Kyle Staver – Flub and Tippy (detail)

There is a beautiful exhibition catalogue available for purchase by mail or download with full page images of the art, statements by the juried artists and interesting passages about the invited artists, Kyle Staver and Jennifer Pochinski as well as notes from the Curator John Seed and acknowledgements from Kelly Detweiler, Professor of Art at Santa Clara University who had made it all possible. Click here for the link.

Invited Artists: Jennifer Pochinski, Kyle Staver

Juried Artists: Alix Bailey, James Bland, Marie Cameron, Linda Christensen, Ashley Norwood Cooper, Melinda Cootsona, Kim Frohsin, Sonia Gill, Phyllis Gorsen, Cynthia Grili, Nancy Gruskin, Mark Hanson, Irene Cuadrado Hernandez, Mitchel Johnson, Betsy Kendall, Rachel Kline,Sue Ellen R. Leys, Kathy Liao, Fred Lower, Janet Norris, Gage Opdenbrouw, David Iacovazzi-Pau, Jill Madden, Nicholas Mancini, Sandy Ostrau, Catherine Prescott, Jose Luis Ceña Ruiz, William Rushton, Francis Sills, Kurt Solmssen, David Tomb, Christina Renfer Vogel, Martin Webb, John Webber, William Wray