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Freda Koblick

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Freda Koblick

American, (1920–2011)
Freda Koblick was a native of San Francisco who pioneered cast-acrylic plastic sculpture. The first woman to graduate from the Plastic Industries Technical Institute in Los Angeles, she envisioned plastic as a fine arts medium that could provide exciting possibilities beyond the material’s traditional, industrial applications. Koblick found that the control of curvature, plane, and texture was far more precise to accomplish in plastic than with other transparent media such as glass. According to the artist, she was fascinated by “the promise and the mystery of transparency” of plastic as art, specifically when the internal structure of a piece played a dynamic counterpart to reflections on the surface.

At first, Koblick produced functional items such as doorknobs, lighting fixtures, serving trays, and other decorative objects. She also made large site-specific architectural elements. By the 1960s, Koblick shifted focus to cast-acrylic sculpture, striving to elevate plastic as a fine art. In November 1968, she was honored with a solo exhibition titled Plastic Forms by Freda Koblick at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York. Koblick was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation two years later. One of Freda Koblick’s monumental projects was Night Sky, a 1500-pound, cast-acrylic, hanging sculpture that was commissioned in 1980 for the central hub of Terminal 3 at the San Francisco International Airport.

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