Holly Frean is an artist of exceptional dedication and vision. She began her formal training as an architect and draughtsman but painting portraits took over. Her studio practice has since grown to include picture-making in all its forms, typically oil paintings on canvas and gouaches on paper, also printmaking and 3D work. Infused with wit and humour, Holly’s work draws on the lives of artists and uniquely documents the subtleties in a face, body or movement. Over the past decade she has evolved a highly personal and technically accomplished style. Holly’s work has been exhibited extensively in the UK and America.
She has won numerous accolades including the 2012 National Open Art Competition Painting Prize (awarded by Grayson Perry) and regularly shows at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the ING Discerning Eye at Mall Galleries in London. Commissions include those from the Duchess of Northumberland, designer Betty Jackson, comedians Russell Howard and Ricky Gervais, hotelier Kit Kemp, actor Russell Tovey and retailer Johnny Boden. Holly's imagination and versatility have recently led to coveted textile, ceramic and wallpaper collaborations with Anthropologie, Burberry, Andrew Martin and Paul Smith.
Holly Frean began her formal training in architecture, before completing a BA (Hons) Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School, UK.
Building a busy studio practice in London and Berlin lead to early exhibitions at the Chelsea Arts Club and other exhibition venues. Early work as a portrait painter developed into the witty, diverse and accomplished style she is known for today. Frequent art historical visual references to both specific paintings and artists contrast with a light-hearted humour edged with wry observations of our reading of art.
Holly has shown extensively in the UK and North America with Rebecca Hossack Gallery, ZimmerStewart, Blue Print Gallery, Lawrence Alkin Gallery and has had solo further shows at Paul Smith’s London flagship store. Holly has been invited to show work as part of the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition on a number of occasions.
Awards include the 2012 National Open Art Competition Painting Prize (awarded by Grayson Perry). Commissions are numerous and are an ongoing part of Holly’s practice alongside developing new bodies of work. Recent patrons include the Duchess of Northumberland, Betty Jackson, Russell Howard, Ricky Gervais, Kit Kemp, Russell Tovey and Johnny Boden.
Running parallel to Holly’s painting are a growing number of textile, ceramics and wallpaper collaborations and partnerships with prestigious brands including Anthropologie, Andrew Martin, Burberry, Paul Smith, Little Greene Paint Co, Chick’N’Sours. Holly has a new card range published via ArtPress and is represented by Bridgeman Images for image licensing.