An Introduction to Fanchon Fröhlich

An Introduction to Fanchon Fröhlich

with Hamish Trower



One of my favourite lots in the Mallams’ Interiors Sale on the 29th January is lot 187 which is these two prints by a woman called Fanchon Fröhlich. She was an amazing woman, a writer, composer, scientist, philosopher and a printmaker.

She lived most of her life in Liverpool but she travelled quite extensively with her husband Herbert who was a leading physicist at the time. In the sixties she spent some time in Paris with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17, developing her printing techniques.

These two are viscosity prints which was a technique that Hayter developed and Fanchon would experiment with and keep as a theme throughout her career. They allowed her to build up colour and texture on the paper without taking multiple pressings or changing the states of the plate, and this meant that one plate could be used to generate multiple different prints of different colours with slight variations across each pressing.

This one in particular is really interesting to me. The title is ‘Whatever Flames upon the Night’ which is taken from the Y. B Yeats poem ‘Two Songs from a Play’.

She was always curious and experimenting with different forms of expression and means of enquiry and these two prints, I think, really personify that in her experimental approach to the art form. Unfortunately, she was like many female artists in the twentieth century, unappreciated in her time, relative to her peers.

It is nice that these two works, unlike many of hers were signed and one was also numbered. So we have these as a really nice record of her as an artist, who in the sixties was at the centre of the Avant-Garde, experimenting with new forms. It is a real treat to have them in our sale and be able to appreciate them at such close quarters.

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