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Lilly Fenichel

American, 1927-2016


Curating Works


Lilly Fenichel was born in Vienna, Austria, to a Jewish family in 1927. Her father was a doctor and her mother a fashion designer; the psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel was her uncle. In 1939, following the Nazi invasion of Austria, her family fled the country, going first to the United Kingdom and then to the United States, where they settled in Hollywood. Fenichel studied art at the Chouinard Art Institute from 1946–47 and Los Angeles City College from 1947–48. She then moved in 1950 to the San Francisco Bay Area to study at the California School of Fine Arts, where she worked with the painters Edward Corbett, Hassel Smith, Elmer Bischoff, and David Park. Fenichel started showing her work in the early 1950s. Fenichel’s paintings from the 1960s and 1970s were exhibited and grouped with work by other West Coast, second-generation Abstract Expressionists such as Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, and Sonia Gechtoff. Her work is in the permanentcollections of Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Harwood Museum of Art, and Albuquerque Museum.