30 Nov 2016
Fritz Dietel, 2007 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.
"I'd rather have some mystery involved."
The experiences of Fritz Dietel's (b. 1960) life have influenced his work as strongly as his schooling. He was raised on a New England Farm and from a very young age, loved to build, mend, and, rather frequently, improvise when he did not have proper tools or materials to efficiently tackle a project. More recently, he says, the pain and joy of fatherhood are reflected in his work. Other inspiration comes from observation of botanic and aquatic natural forms—egg casings, shells, seed pods, and hives. Dietel's pieces, quite labor-intensive, are mainly constructed from strips and shards of band-sawed wood.
Dietel has won critical acclaim in Philadelphia and established himself with a reputable gallery (Schmidt Dean Gallery). His works can be found in private collections as well as major institutional collections including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Delaware Art Museum, the Johnson and Johnson Company, the Vanguard Group, and American Bank. He has taken part in competitions including the Portland Museum of Art Biennial, ME, and the Fleisher Challenge Competition. In his 20-plus-year career, he has worked almost exclusively in wood and looks forward to exploring handmade paper, creating a new body of work reinterpreting his vessels and structures with this medium.