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David James Gilhooly (American, 1943–2013)
1943 David Gilhooly born in Auburn, California.
1947 David’s family moves to Davis, where his father works for the University of California’s farm division. His father later enters UCD’s Veterinary School and graduates in its first class in 1952.
1948 David begins collecting things; first telephone wire, then rocks, and odd clues of animal and plant life. Stamps, coins and other collectable would also eventually be included.
1952 Moves to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and lives a hundred yards from the Caribbean Sea in a house built on the ruins of an 18th century sugar mill. David takes an interest in archaeology, geology and marine biology.
1953 The Gilhooly family moves to Los Altos, California. David attends Covington Junior High School, where he discovers his artistic talent by creating cartoons for the school newspaper and becoming seriously involved in acting. He also finds creative channels in wood shop and metal shop.
1957 Moves to Arecibo, Puerto Rico and attends Colegio San Antonio. 1958 David moves to Santa Maria, California by way of Chowchilla. He is . elected student body president.
1960 Moves to Solvang, California and attends Santa Ynez Valley High School. Tries and fails to play football for the first time. Meets Verne Huser, his English teacher, who introduces him to existentialist and beat literature. Huser also gives David the lead in the senior class play.
1961 Moves to Humacao, Puerto Rico and graduates valedictorian from Roosevelt Roads High School in a class of nine students. Flies to Florida, and catches a bus to Davis, California, where he enrolls at the University of California as a biology major.
1962 In the fall David switches his major to anthropology. At age 19, David enrolls in Robert Arneson’s first ceramics class just to, in his words, “impress a girl.” He gets into the class by pretending to be an art minor. He takes his first drawing class with Wayne Thiebaud. Also in 1962, David visits his first and most memorable art exhibition-a San Francisco show featuring Roy De Forest, who would teach at UCD a few years later and eventually become an influence on Gilhooly’s work.
1963 David officially declares himself an art major after Bud McKee accepts his work for the California Crafts 111, held at the E.B. Crocker Art Museum. David then becomes Arneson’s teaching assistant for the summer. He takes a second drawing class from William T. Wiley, where he meets Maijia Gregeris. Much of his work at this time involves ceramic pots, which leads him to experiment with cruddy surfaces and glazes. David also gets married this year.
1964 David has his first show at the Sacramento Artists’ Cooperative. He also wins an award in a juried show at the 39th Annual Kingsley Art Club.
1965 Graduates from UCD but stays to pursue an M.A. He starts experimenting with sculpture media. Assists William T. Wiley in driving artwork to the Bay Area, where he meets Nathan Olivera. Also in 1965, David has his first solo exhibition, which wins praise in his premier Art Forum review, written by Elizabeth Polley. Solo exhibitions: Richmond Art Center, Richmond, Calif Group exhibitions: “San Francisco Art Institute Annual,” San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco; “UC Davis Sculpture,” Belmonte Gallery, Sacramento, Calif.
1966 David’s first son, David James Gilhooly IV, is born. David returns to ceramics, but now uses whiteware rather than stoneware. Full-size animals emerge as a favorite theme during this period. David also begins selling smaller works at various “pot sales.” He continues producing mixed media sculptures. Also in 1966, David makes his first elephant foot stools, covering them with his favorite leopard-skin Naugahyde or other artificial animal fur fabrics. He also creates hoof ashtrays, an elephant head trophy, elephant foot cups, camel heads and camel leg ash trays.
1966 also sees David’s debut in the San Francisco Chronicle, where he is reviewed by Alfred Frankenstein, and in the Vallejo Times-Herald, by Elizabeth Polley.
Solo Exhibition: University of California, Davis.
Group Exhibitions: “The First Annual Group Mess,” Belmonte Gallery (co-curator), Sacramento, Calif.; “California Ceramic Sculpture,” Reed College, Portland, Ore.; “Ceramics of Davis,” Museum West, San Francisco, of the American Craft Council.
1967 Daughter Andrea is born. After receiving his M.A., David begins teaching watercolor at San Jose State University. Since he had never done watercolor painting, he uses the summer to make papier mache pigs, anteaters, and crocodiles and he paints them with poster paint. Similarly, his watercolor students ended up making papier mache meals and coloring them with poster paint. David is never allowed into the San Jose ceramics studio, but Arneson lets him into the kilns at UCD. He continues making papier mache objects and fake watercolors on butcher paper. Soon he meets Adeliza McHugh, who shows his work at the Candy Store Gallery in Folsom. Solo exhibition: San Francisco
Museum of Art, San Francisco. Group exhibitions: “FUNK,” UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, Calif.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass.; “Ceramic Sculpture,” Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; “Four Object Makers,” Allan Stone Gallery, New York, N.Y.; “Four Sculptors,” California State University, Hayward, Calif.
1968 David begins his one-person annual exhibitions at the Hansen Gallery, which continue until 1979, and at the Candy Store in Folsom, which continue until 1983. Also in 1968, he returns to teach and work for the summer at UCD’s ceramics studio (TB-9). For the next several years, he returns to work in Davis regularly on Robert Arneson’s invitation. Solo exhibitions: M.H. De Young Museum, San Francisco; HansenFuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif; Alan Hancock College, Santa Maria, Calif. Group Exhibition: “Recent West Coast Sculpture,” California State University, Hayward.
1969 David moves to Regina and teaches ceramics at the University of Saskatchewan. He installs Mother and Child Hippo Fountain at the Oakland Museum. Some of his favorite creations in 1969 include prehistoric glymptodonts, ancestors of armadillos. He begins to make serious frog pieces in terra cotta. His frog work taps Greek and Roman mythologies and borrows heavily from early Christian ideas. He continues making papier mache figures.
Solo exhibitions: Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; Sonoma State University, Sonoma, Calif.; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif Group exhibitions: “Objects, USA,” Johnson Wax’s Travelling Show; “California Ceramic Sculptors,” Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Regina; “The Spirit of Comics,” Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; “Group Exhibition,” Albreaux Gallery, San Francisco.
1970 David’s frog world takes on an Egyptian theme with works such as King Tut and Nefertiti. He begins working with artist Joe Fafard. Actor Vincent Price writes an article on the Candy Store Gallery, highlighting David’s work. Solo exhibitions: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Regina; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Nut Art,” San Jose State University, Calif.; “Excellence of the Object,” Fresno State University, Calif.; Oakland Museum; New Jersey State University; “Realisms ’70,” Montreal Museum of Art, Montreal, Quebec; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario; “Whitney Sculpture Annual,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y.
1971 In his words, David is “tossed out” of the university in Regina after naming a pair of ceramic baboons after the department chairman and his wife. Moves to Toronto and begins teaching part-time at York University until 1977. David is featured in a Craft Horizons article by Jeanette Arneson. He creates African frog pieces, and begins a long series of popular Frog Frys works, which feature frogs in a frying pan. Solo exhibitions: Manolides Gallery, Seattle, Wash.; Anna Leonowens Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, N.Y.; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif. ; HansenFuller Gallery, San Francisco. Group exhibitions: “Clay Works: 20 Americans,” Museum of Contemporary Craft, New York, N.Y.; “Contemporary Ceramic Art”, National Museums of Modem Art, Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan.
1972 “With David Gilhooly in the Frog World” show travels in Ontario. David is featured on the cover of ArtsCanada and in an article by Gary Michael Dault. He turns out his first ceramic donuts, small frogs, vegetables, pizzas and the first erotic frog sculptures. Sue Foley, then curator at the San Francisco Museum of Art, publishes “A Decade of Ceramic Art,” a comprehensive catalog on “The Joseph Monsen Collection” show. Solo exhibitions: “Gifts From The Frog World,” York University, Toronto, Ontario; Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif. Group exhibitions: “New Realism,” International Academy of Ceramics Exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; “Realism: Emulsion and Omission,” Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, University of Guelph, Canada; Queen’s University Art Collection, Kingston, Ontario; “Joseph Monsen Collection,” San Francisco Museum of Art.
1973 Daughter Abigail is born. “Erotic Frog Colouring Book” is published. David creates the first of the celebrated Count of Crumbs pieces, including1his trademark ceramic bagels and sandwich cookies. Solo exhibitions: Manolides Gallery, Seattle, Wash.; “1,000 Donuts,” Greenberg’s Desserts, New York, N.Y.; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco. Group exhibitions: “Statements,” Oakland Museum, Calif; TusconArt Center, Ariz; “Canada Trajectories ’73,” Musee d’ art de la Ville, Paris, France; “Ceramic Objects,” Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, New York Cultural Center, N.Y.; “Contemporary American Ceramics,” Seattle Art Museum, Wash.; “Four Ceramic Sculptors from California,” Alan Frumkin Gallery, New York, N.Y.
1974 Son Peter is born. Produces many pieces this year that many would later call his favorites, including “misvegenation pieces,” which depict frogs sleeping with vegetables, and the first “kitchen art.”
Solo exhibitions: And/Or Gallery, Seattle, Wash.; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.
Group exhibitions: “Clay,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y.; “Public Sculpture/Urban Environment,” Oakland Museum, Calif
1975 David returns to teach full-time at UCD. The Hansen-Fuller and Candy Store galleries host the first “bake sales.” He decides to become a “stone cutter,” and begins carving blocks and stones of clay. He makes pieces such as Petra, a lost city in the desert, and carves the base for the first Tantric Frog Buddha. Both of these pieces are featured in Dale McConathy’s article “David Gilhooly’s Mythanthropy” and in the “Artist as Historian” issue of ArtsCanada.
Solo exhibitions: Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa.; “Bakesale,” Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; “Second Bakesale,” Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Clay USA,” Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; “The Small Scale in Contemporary Art,” Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Ill.
1976 In celebration of the Bicentennial, David makes distinctive pieces, including a set of “First Dates” at national shrines. He also creates the first breadfrogs this year.
Solo exhibitions: Matrix Gallery-Wadsworth Antheneum, Hartford, Conn.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Ill.;Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia; Delahunty Gallery, Dallas, Texas.; Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.
Group exhibitions: “Contemporary Clay: Ten Approaches,” Dartmouth College, N.H.; “The Soup Tureen,” Campbell Museum, N.J.; “Painting and Sculpture: The Modem Era,” San Francisco Museum of Art; National Collection of Fine Art, Washington, D.C.; “National Ceramic Exhibition,” Glenbow-Alberta Institute, Calgary, Alberta; Canada Art Centrum, Prague, Czechoslovakia; “Bicentennial Exhibition,” Alan Frumkin Gallery, New York, N.Y David finishes the Merfrog Family Fountain, which would later be installed at the Stanford Shopping Center Plaza in Palo Alto, Calif. Solo exhibitions: Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France; ARCO Center for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Craft, New York, N.Y.; Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa.; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles. Group exhibitions: “Artists’ Maps,” Philadelphia College of Art, Pa; “Civilizations,” J.M. Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wis.; “American Crafts,” Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pa.; “Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture,” W. H. Ackland Memorial Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
1978 David moves to Calgary, Alberta. He returns to the Sacramento Valley to teach a summer course at California State University, Sacramento. Solo exhibitions: Fresno City College, Calif.; Merced City College, Calif.; University of North Dakota, Grand Rapids, N.D.; Kesik Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Manolides Gallery, Seattle, Wash.; Nina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y. Group exhibitions: “Nine West Coast Clay Sculptors: 1978,” Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, N.Y.; Arts and Crafts Center of Pittsburgh, Pa.; “Private Images: Photos by Sculptors,” Los Angeles County Museum, Calif.; “First Canadian Bienelle of Prints and Drawings,” Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Alberta.
1979 Thepreadwall is installed at the government building in Calgary and Seattle’s Own Ark is installed at the Woodland Park Zoo. David again teaches during the summer session at CSU Sacramento. David and his wife divorce, and David returns to live and work in Davis, where he begins making ceramic arks and canoes with FrogIndians. He continues making bed and tub pieces. Solo exhibitions: Hansen-Fuller Gallery, San Francisco; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Nickle Art Museum, University of Calgary, Alberta; Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta; Erie Art Center, Pa.; “Bakesale,” Aspen Art Center, Colo. Group exhibitions: “A Century of Ceramics in the United States: 1878-1978,” Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, N.Y.; Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; “West Coast Ceramics,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland.
1980 Solo exhibitions: Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; E.B. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, Calif.; Rebecca Cooper Gallery, New York, N.Y. Group exhibitions: “Contemporary Ceramics Response to Wedgewood,” Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pa.; “Continental Clay Connection,” Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Regina.
1981 David helps curate “Welcome to the Candy Store” exhibition, a tribute to Adeliza McHugh, at the Crocker Art Museum. Solo exhibitions: St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Mo.; Elizabeth Fortner Gallery, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Helen Drutt Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa.; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Golden West College Fine Arts Gallery, Huntington Beach, Calif.; “This Is Not Art,” Mendocino, Calif. Group exhibitions: “The Animal Image,” Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; “Welcome to the Candy Store,” Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, Calif.; “Ceramic Sculpture: Six Artists,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y.; San Francisco Museum of Modem Art, Calif.
1982 David marries Camille Chang, and they move to Shingle Springs, Calif. David installs Performing Frogs in Eugene, Ore., and makes a large ark for the Federal Reserve Building in San Francisco. First solo show at the Smith-Andersen Gallery in Palo Alto, Calif. David produces Clean Sweep, a piece that depicts a pile of frogs being swept out a door by a full-size broom. The piece symbolizes David’s efforts to stop making ceramic frogs. He buys his first pieces of Plexiglas and a band saw. Solo exhibitions: “Mere Morsels,” Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia; “West Coast Ceramics,” Crafts Council Gallery, London. Group exhibitions: Meyer-Brier-Wiess Gallery, San Francisco; SmithAndersen Gallery, Palo Alto, Calif.
1983 David moves to Ft. Bragg, Calif, and starts printing at 3EP Press in Palo Alto, Calif. Staying away from the frog imagery, he begins creating Plexiglas sculptures, such as The TransAmerica Building and giant ceramic Dagwood sandwiches, considered to be his last clay pieces. Also in 1983, Fifty West Coast Artists is published by Chronicle Books.
Solo exhibitions: Redding Museum of Art,; Asher-Faure Gallery, Los Angeles; Candy Store Gallery, Folsom, Calif.; Meyer-Brier-Wiess Gallery, San Francisco.
Group exhibitions: “Soup, Soup, Beautiful Soup,” Campbell Museum, New Jersey (traveling exhibition); “Hollywood,” Space Gallery, Los Angeles; “Three California Artists,” Alice Simsar Gallery, Ann Arbor, Mich. 1984 David moves to San Jose, Mountain View and then Palo Alto. Group exhibitions: “Frederick Wiessman Foundation Collection,” Palm Springs Desert Museum, Calif.; “Return of the Narrative,” Palm Springs Desert Museum, Calif.; “Art of the States: Works from a Santa Barbara Collection,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Calif.
1985 David moves to Cameron Park, Calif. Participates in “Art in the San Francisco Bay Area: 1945-1980” at the Oakland Museum. Featured in “The Last Clay Show” at the Joseph Chowning Gallery in San Francisco and the “First Plastics Show” at the Smith-Andersen Gallery. Continues making many plastic pieces including NYC Encased in Jello, I Love Japanese Food But I Hate Rice and Des Moines Sushi Bar, which depicts sashimi on ears of com. He also begins making his Hawaiian shirt series and city pieces. Solo exhibitions: Joseph Chowning Gallery (David’s last clay show), San Francisco; Smith-Andersen Gallery (first plastics show), Palo Alto, Calif.; Smith-Andersen Gallery (first wood show), Palo Alto, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Art in the San Francisco Bay Area: 1945-1980,” Oakland Museum, Calif; “I 3th Chunichi International Exhibition of Ceramic Arts,” Nagoya, Japan.
1986 Son, Hakan, is born. David begins printing at the Magnolia Press in Oakland, producing the notable work My Dog Spot, a silver-leaf dog composed of ink spots on black paper. David returns to frogs, making what he thought would be his final frog food, FrogFood on the Way to Valhalla, in which a giant ark of frog food rides a wave to the afterlife. Solo exhibitions: Joseph Chowning Gallery, San Francisco; SmithAndersen Gallery, Palo Alto, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Art Ceramics Then and Now,” Phoenix Art Museum, Ariz.; “Selected Monotypes,” Gallerie Kulturjovnet, Copenhagen, Denmark; “20th Century Canadian Sculpture,” Victoria Art Gallery, British Columbia.
1987 “Plasticity of David Gilhooly,” by Tom Folk, appears in Arts magazine. David continues working at Magnolia. David has his first exhibition at the Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery in Davis, Calif. Solo exhibitions: Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, Calif.; “The Very Last Bake Show,” Elizabeth Fortner Gallery, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Joseph Chowning Gallery, San Francisco; Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Thirty Ceramic Sculptors,” Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis, Calif.; “Fired with Enthusiasm,” Campbell Museum, N.J. (traveling); “The Anderson Collection: Two Decades of American Graphics, 1967-1987,” Stanford Museum of Art, Palo Alto, Calif.
1988 Solo exhibitions: “The Great American Dog Show,” Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, Calif.; Joseph Chowning Gallery, San Francisco; “The Rainbow Years,” Magnolia Press Gallery, Oakland, Calif.; “Plastic Works,” American River College, Sacramento, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Art a la Carte,” Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco; “Second Annual 30 Ceramic Sculptors,” Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis, Calif.; “Facing It: Selections from the Ross Turk Collection,” Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, Ind.
1989 Moves to Yamhill County, Oregon. Makes his first 10-pound Gilhooly sampler, filled with miniature frog food, including the first FrogOreo. Solo exhibitions: Art Start Gallery, Scottsdale, Ariz.; “Dog Show,” American River College, Sacramento; Morgan Art Gallery, Kansas City, Mo.; “New Works,” Djurovich Gallery, Sacramento, Calif.; Susan Whitney Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan; Joseph Chowning Gallery, San Francisco; Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis, Calif. Group exhibitions: “Third National Ceramic International,” Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio; “Recent Acquisitions of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts,” California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; “Third Annual 30 Ceramic Sculptors,” Natsoulas/ Novelozo Gallery, Davis, Calif.
1990 Son, Kiril, is born. Solo exhibitions: “Some Dogs and Two Cats,” Maveety Gallery, Portland, Ore.; “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, Calif.; Joseph Chowning Gallery, San Francisco; Renshaw Gallery, Linfield College, McMinnville, Ore. Group exhibitions: “Art What Thou Eat,” Edith C. Blum Art Institute, Bard College, New York, N.Y.; “Bay Area Sculptors of the ’60s: Then and Now, 1990,” Braunstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco; “Fourth Annual 30 Ceramic Sculptors,” Natsoulas/Novelozo Gallery, Davis.
1991 Solo exhibitions: Sherry Frumkin Gallery, Santa Monica, Calif.; Moira-James Gallery, Las Vegas, Nev.
Group exhibitions: “Fifth Annual 30 Ceramic Sculptors,” John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, Calif.; “Thirty Years of TB-9: A Tribute To Robert Arneson,” John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, Calif.; “Sculptural Perspectives for the Nineties,” Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, Calif.; “Keepers of the Kiln: Seven Contemporary Ceramic Artists,” curator Myra Morgan, a traveling exhibition commencing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 1992 Solo Exhibitions: John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, Calif.; “OK, I’ll Keep Making Frogs and Drop Dead,” San Jose Museum of Art, Calif.