John Drew

John Drew
The attitude of a modernist lay behind Al Frueh's imagery. When dada artists published the first issue of The Blind Man in 1917, Frueh provided the cover image. This brief association may have bolstered Frueh's independence; although aware of avant-garde trends, he focused on such nontraditional forms as mechanical toys, folded paper sculpture, and caricature portraits, challenging the distinctions between art and non-art, adult and childish sensibilities.

Actor John Drew kept his face immobile on stage, using his body to interpret roles. Frueh first caricatured him as a block of wood in 1908. That powerful distillation also inspired a sculpture and this puppet.

John Drew 1853-1927
Al Frueh (1880-1968)
Wood, paint, cardboard, felt, fabric, and wire, circa 1915-1925
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the children of Al Frueh:
Barbara Frueh Bornemann, Robert Frueh, and Alfred Frueh Jr.

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