Fritz Dietel

2007 Pew Fellow

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.


Artist Bob and Roberta Smith creates work in what he calls the “communicative realm,” from hand-painted slogans to social media campaigns.

The ICA presents Endless Shout, an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project examining the role of performance in museum spaces.

Grants & Grantees

Theater artist Thaddeus Phillips, a 2002 Pew Fellow, will create a new bilingual performance work for theater, inspired by his experience working on Colombian telenovela Alias El Mexicano.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Anne Ellegood is senior curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Prior to this position, she was the curator of contemporary art at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia opened to the public in 1954 and is located in the former home of brothers Philip and Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, international dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Laura Keim serves as curator for Stenton and Historic Germantown and its collections. She is a lecturer of historic interiors at Philadelphia University and in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2011, received media attention from the New York Times and Artforum.

Grants & Grantees

Jennifer Levonian (Pew Fellow, 2009) creates cut-paper animations that explore the ambivalence of everyday life.

In conjunction with the recent Center-funded retrospective, Trisha Brown: In the New Body, we invited author and art critic Douglas Crimp and MoMA PS1’s Peter Eleey to reflect on Brown’s influential choreographic practice.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Questions of Practice

Katharina Grosse’s epic psychylustro—a five-mile-long “painting” sprayed intermittently along a stretch of train tracks in northeast Philadelphia—challenges a number of assumptions about the role of both painting and public art. Here, urbanist Randy Mason offers his perspective.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Eric Johnson is a librarian by training, currently serving as head of innovative media at the VCU Libraries of Virginia Commonwealth University.