Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The work of artist and designer William Fridrich will be on display at Fairmont State in February in an exhibit titled "William Fridrich Design."

Fridrich will be present for the exhibit opening planned for 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, in the Brooks Gallery of Wallman Hall. He will lecture about his work at 7:30 p.m.

The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 28. Regular gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special viewing arrangements outside these hours may be made by calling or e-mailing Curator Marian J. Hollinger at (304) 367-4300 or mhollinger@fairmontstate.edu. Admission is free and open to the public.

Each year, the Brooks Gallery hosts an exhibition of work of particular interest to students and professionals in design, photography and the graphic arts. Among the pieces to be exhibited will be Fridrich's very large-scale photographs.

A Californian by birth and training, Fridrich now lives and works in Wilmington, N.C. He attended UCLA as an art major. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army as a combat illustrator, designing army training manuals and presentation materials. After his military service, he took a position with Standard Brands paint company in Southern California, where he designed newspaper advertisements, direct mail promotions and product labels. He became a freelance graphic designer for Clinton E. Frank Advertising, Los Angeles, and also provided design services to smaller ad agencies.

In 1974, Fridrich established Wm. Fridrich Design in Hermosa Beach, Calif., which later moved to nearby Redondo Beach, where he worked with, among other corporations, Paramount Films and Paramount/Oxford Educational Films, the City of Redondo Beach, King Harbor Association and the Redondo Beach Pier Association.

In 1978, Fridrich was art director for the launch of South Bay Magazine, a regional publication serving the southern beach cities of Los Angeles County. He served as co-publisher as well as art director of the magazine. In 1987, Fridrich co-invented the "magalog" mail promotion with Dick Sanders. The product was a hybrid of traditional mail promotion and a magazine. Numerous companies have copied this approach to advertising.

Today, Fridrich works in North Carolina, in collaboration with his wife, art historian and designer Marsha McKee. Among his many interests and pursuits, Fridrich produces photographs both for business and pleasure and DADA sculptures. His clients in North Carolina are many and include the Wilmington Police Department, NCDOT, Ernst & Young, California Edison, Forbes magazine, USA Network, Sci-Fi Channel, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Response Development Corporation, Fabian Financial, Phillips Publishing and Nightingale Conant.

"Robert Hughes, referring to the DADA movement (and Marcel Duchamp in particular), said that like his Bottle Rack, Bicycle Wheel and other "readymades" the world is so full of interesting objects that the artist need not add to them. Instead he could just pick one, and this ironic act of choice was equivalent to creation,"  Fridrich says. "The camera is the definitive instrument for making these ironic acts of choice. The function of this device--to record what already exists--in the DADA belief, is equivalent to the act of creation."