A major figure in Conceptual art in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1970, Howard Fried became known for his performance, video, film, and sculptural installations. Early works that often featured the artist in and around his studio metaphorically addressed and objectified aspects of his daily experience and psychological processes. Exploratory in nature, Fried's work reflects an interest in decision making and how information is perceived and read. His highly composed and edited videos are characterized by his attention to the role of time sequences, camera perspective, and spatial and semiotic relationships. Several groundbreaking pieces establish a problem or conflict and the possibility of its resolution within a piece. In such works the artist often uses the structure of a game or activity between multiple participants to observe the behavior of the individual in response to the situation.
Based in the Bay Area since 1967, Fried received his B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1968 and his M.F.A. from the University of California at Davis in 1970. He founded the performance and video department (now New Genres) at the San Francisco Art Institute.
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