Gallo, American (1933 - )
Frank Gallo has worked primarily
from the human form. The sculptor was born in Toledo, Ohio in
1933 and from 1960, was professor sculpture at the University
of Illinois. He studied art from 1951 to 1959 at the University
of Toledo, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
and the State University of Iowa.
In the late 1950s, he began to use the material polyester resin
reinforced with fiberglass that gives his sculpture a viscous
finish. Although he is noted for his studies of women, some
of whom are fancifully and colorfully clad, Gallo has also made
sculptures of men, including Abraham Lincoln.
Often distorting his life-like figures Gallo has commented,
"I'm obsessed with the female figure. I get static from
some women - you know, women's lib- who say that I capitalize
on them. But that's not fair. What I express in these pieces
is worship, not exploitation. I'm interested in the beauty of
the female figure, and I'm trying to express it, the way I feel
In Girl on a Couch we see the exaggerated breasts and the soft
mounds of the stomach area that are repeated in the soft billowy
cushions of the couch. The couch itself becomes feminine and
is almost as provocative as the woman. Gallo's use of epoxy
resin signals a use of new, modern materials and is a fitting
medium because it enhances the life-like, tactile quality of
the figure and places her directly into the viewer's space.
His work is often mildly erotic, with elongated figures that
may sit or recline in postures suggesting extremes of boredom
or self-involvement. Frank Gallo has also made lithographs,
using the same thematic material. Examples of his work are in
the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
and the Los Angeles County Art Museum.
Museum exhibitions include, The Whitney Museum of American Art Annuals 1964-1967 and Young America, 1965; Alliance on Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC 1968; Venice Biennale, 1968; Works on Paper, Art Institute of Chicago, 1978; and Frank Gallo Retrospective, Paine Art Center, Oshkosh WI, 1983.
Awards include: Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1966 and Best Illustrator of the Year, Society of Published Designers, 1979.