David Gilhooly (1943-2013) “Challah bread”, ceramic sculpture, 13 x 6 inches, 1975. Signed and dated on the bottom.
David Gilhooly was born in Auburn, California, in 1943. He received a BFA (1965) and MFA (1967) from U.C. Davis. He was a student assistant to Robert Arneson and was a part of the core of what became known as the Bay Area Funk Art movement, a group (including Arneson, Peter Vandenberge, Chris Unterseher, and Margaret Dodd) known for poking fun at high culture through playful sculptures made of clay. The group first worked out of a studio at the university in “temporary building #9” so they are sometimes referred to as the TB-9 artists. Gilhooly himself often rendered a range of animals and foodstuffs including towering sandwiches and ice cream sundaes, and a series centered on frogs. Gilhooly worked as an assistant to Manuel Neri for a semester which lead him to experiment with other materials such as wood, fur, lights, etc. In 1969 Gilhooly took a teaching position at the University of Saskatchewan in Regina, Canada and later at York University, in Toronto, Canada. He also worked with papier-mâché and Plexiglass. He spent the last 18 years of his life in Oregon.
Gilhooly had solo exhibitions in galleries around the country including at the St. Louis Museum of Art in 1980 and the Cantor Art Center in 2005. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Cantor Museum at Stanford University, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Gilhooly’s handling of clay here is flawless, resulting in a perfectly realistic rendering of a loaf of bread.
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