Gerda Frömel

Selected Exhibitions

After moving to Ireland in 1956, Frömel began exhibiting her work and continued to do so steadily until her death. Included here is a selection of her exhibitions and the various pieces associated with those shows. 

Cover of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (IELA) catalogue.

Cover of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art
(IELA) catalogue.

  • 1956: Irish Exhibition of Living Art (IELA)

    Frömel’s first exhibition in Ireland aligned her with the most innovative and vital artists of the time, among them Hilary Heron, Oisín Kelly, Frank Morris and Ion Stuart. Frömel entered three works: Horse, Reiter, and Little Figure.

  • 1958: IELA

    By the late 1950s, Frömel was producing works made almost entirely of modelled-sculpture cast in bronze, a practice aided by the bronze foundry at Woodtown Park her husband had set up.

  • 1960: Bord Fáilte

    Then the National Tourism Authority in Ireland, Bord Fáilte commissioned Frömel to produce a bronze plaque ‘on the subject of gardens,’ which was awarded as a National Garden Prize that same year.

  • 1964: Dawson Gallery, Dublin
    A view of the installation at the Dawson Gallery for Frömel's 1964 solo exhibition.

    A view of the installation at the Dawson Gallery for Frömel’s 1964 solo exhibition.

    Frömel’s first solo exhibition was her most varied in terms of subject matter and scale. There were sixteen objects in bronze in the show and fourteen drawings. The equal status she gave to her drawings was part of a reassessment of that aspect of her work in the 1960s. While there had been honorable mentions of Frömel’s work in reviews of the IELA from 1956 to 1964, her solo exhibition saw the first substantial press coverage of her work.

  • 1966: IELA

    As Frömel expanded her skills, she began to experiment with carving. The 1966 IELA show exhibited one of her first completed carved works in stone, Moon and Anti Moon.

  • 1967: Dawson Gallery, Dublin
    Moon and Anti Moon, 1966, one of Frömel's first completed carved works in stone.

    Moon and Anti Moon, 1966. Granite.

    Her second show at the Dawnson Gallery was a two-person exhibition with architect Michael Scott. Scott showed carefully executed drawings of buildings and Frömel showed a series of sculptures quite different from those exhibited in 1964. The most striking feature of this exhibition is the departure from modelled and cast sculpture to works carved in stone. Sculptors are not always equally skilled in modelling and carving. In this exhibition, Frömel demonstrated her virtuosity in both.

  • 1969: Oireachtas

    This year, Frömel exhibited at the Oireachtas, the annual Irish culture arts festival, for the first time, with the piece Fionn.

  • 1970: Dawson Gallery, Dublin

    Frömel’s second solo exhibition at the Dawson Gallery was met with a chorus of critical acclaim, and more substantial press coverage than her previous shows.

  • 1970: Oireachtas

    At the 1970 Oireachtas exhibition, Frömel won the Waterford Glass prize for sculpture for her Fionn 1970 piece, a fifteen-inch-high marble sculpture.

  • 1971: IELA
    Frömel's 'Rosa Aurora' in the 1970 IELA catalogue.

    Frömel’s ‘Rosa Aurora’ in the 1970 IELA catalogue.

    During the 1971 IELA, Frömel exhibited her largest carved sculpture to date, the Rosa Aurora, a two-part carving more than a metre high, whose title came directly from the Portuguese rose marble (with distinctive pink and orange hues) used to create it. The carved elements show a continuation of the celestial themes explored in her 1967 exhibition.

  • 1971: Rosc

    Another version of the Rosa Aurora piece was commissioned for the new Galway Regional Technical College, which Frömel subsequently borrowed back to exhibit in The Irish Imagination, an exhibition that formed part of Rosc 71.

  • 1973: Oireachtas

    At this exhibition in the early 1970s, Frömel won a second gold medal for her piece Ceann [Head], which was also illustrated in the exhibition catalogue.

Frömel continued to participate in the IELA, Oireachtas and Rosc exhibitions in the early and mid-1970s. From 1972 onwards, the type of work she exhibited began to change, focusing more on large format sculptures in marble, with titles such as Blade and Spear.

The catalogue from the IELA's tribute to Frömel following her death.

The catalogue from the IELA’s tribute to Frömel following her death.


After her death in 1975, the IELA made a special display of her work, and included a tribute to her in the catalogue. The following year, in 1976, the Goethe Institute and The Arts Council jointly hosted a retrospective of Frömel’s work at the Municipal Gallery.