John Frame:  (l.) “One. . .John”, 2000, wood/bronze/horn/found objects, 18 x 8 x 6”.
(c.) “To See What I  Have Seen” (detail), 2002, wood/found objects, 19 x 7 x 8”.
(r.) “Old Monkey Chase Me”, 1995, wood on concrete base, 13 x 4 x 4”.

Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980-2005
January 7 – April 10, 2005

Long Beach Museum of Art
2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90803
Contact: Cari Marshall, Manager of P.R. & Marketing
(562) 439-2119 ext. 229
E-mail, <>
Web site, <>

Long Beach, CA The Long Beach Museum of Art presents Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980-2005, from Friday, January 7 through Sunday, April 10, 2005. Best known for his highly evocative, somewhat enigmatic work which combines found objects with superbly crafted wood forms, John Frame creates figurative sculpture which is, at once, poetic, dramatic and richly multi-layered. Enigma Variations explores the development of the artist’s work over a twenty-five year period with a particular emphasis on the work he has produced since 1992, the year of his major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

According to Gordon Fuglie, co-curator of Enigma Variations, when John Frame abandoned literature to pursue sculpture in the early 1980s, he was not particularly interested in becoming part of the mainstream of American contemporary art. In a decade that was dominated by conceptual work and installation, Frame saw himself as a maker of objects, a craftsman creating intimately-scaled, intensely personal and psychologically penetrating figurative tableaux.

Establishing a studio in the Santa Fe Art Colony in downtown Los Angeles, Frame received a “Young Talent Purchase Award” from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1985. In 1992, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented a major exhibition of his work, and in 1995 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship by the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Enigma Variations includes over 40 works from public and private collections throughout the country, featuring seminal work from the early 1980s, sculptural tableaux of the late 1990s, and several of Frame’s most recent works.

Organized for the Long Beach Museum of Art by Gordon Fuglie, Director, Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University. Enigma Variations: The Sculpture of John Frame, 1980-2005 is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Gordon Fuglie, an interview with the artist by Dr. Edward J. Nygren, former Director of Art Collections at the Huntington Library, and a foreword by Long Beach Museum of Art Director Harold B. Nelson.

Enigma Variations is the first exhibition in California Visions, a series of exhibitions in 2005 celebrating the remarkable achievements of California-based artists. California Visions highlights the extraordinary work of artists who were raised in the Golden State or who immigrated to California attracted by its beauty, its embrace of innovation, or its promise of hope and opportunity.

This exhibition in generously sponsored by The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Maurice and Margery Katz, Mary Lou and George Boone, Ronnie Rubin and Yellow Book USA.

About the Long Beach Museum of Art

Located on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach Museum of Art features a lively schedule of changing exhibitions, artmaking workshops for all ages, an historic mansion and carriage house, expansive galleries and gardens, a café (Craig’s at the Museum), and a popular Museum Store. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday (Museum Café opens at 8 a.m.), open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays; admission is $5/adults, $4/students & seniors, free for Museum Members and children under 12, and free for everyone the first Friday of every month. For more information, call (562) 439-2119 or visit <>.

Return to Gallery Pages