ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
Jane Freilicher / ’50s New York
Through Jun 9, 2018 / Paul Kasmin Gallery

Jane Freilicher, Early New York Evening, 1954 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce its debut exhibition of paintings by Jane Freilicher (1924 – 2014), whose estate the gallery now represents. The presentation is the first to focus on Freilicher’s paintings from the 1950s; a body of work that critic Fairfield Porter termed “traditional and radical.” It includes early still lifes, portraits and the studio views that elucidate her characteristically deft balance of interior and exterior. Hailing from the 1950s and painted within various studios in lower Manhattan, the works are evocative of a downtown milieu that has since come to represent the period’s golden age of spirited, improvisational artistic freedom. They articulate Freilicher’s enduring influence: her steadfast observation and intuitive realism are detectable within the work of a number of painters working today.

 

Jane Freilicher, Flowers in Armchair, 1956 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Over a six-decade career, Freilicher quietly painted in direct contrast to the heroic and gestured angst of Abstract Expressionism, the industrial starkness of Minimalism, and the broad sweeping cacophony of Pop. She painted in the same spirit and dedication as Bonnard and Matisse: a subtle and unrelenting observation of domestic life. John Ashbery in a 1975 review described Freilicher with “obviously she paints what she sees, but it happens that she sees a lot.”

Featured amongst the vivid array of the artist’s cityscapes are the tough iron zig-zags of fire escapes, plumes of wispy grey emerging from ConEdison smoke stacks, the quintessential red-brown of New York City apartment blocks, and the almost-abstract configurations to which these elements amount. Essential to Freilicher’s oeuvre is the ongoing balance of what’s inside and what’s outside, oftentimes realized in the delicate shift of perspective between a simple floral arrangement and the complexity of the city behind it. In the works, these landscapes are seen as on rather than beyond the window, and as such, reside in the interior. And the flowers are, to a certain extent, anthropomorphic, taking the place of the figure, as in Flowers in an Armchair (1956.)

 

Jane Freilicher, Interior, 1954 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

These kernels of Freilicher’s paintings – interiors, delicate light, drapery, the views of the city – were crystallized during this early period of her career. Freilicher returned tirelessly, and each time with renewed vitality, to the scenes within which she was absorbed: her home and studio. Those four walls and a window offered a fertile ground from which to paint, establishing the line of sight that eventually went on to characterize her later Water Mill paintings. Two paintings Interior (1953) and Interior (1954,) painted one year apart, illuminate this. Freilicher said of her work, “I’m quite willing to sacrifice fidelity to the subject to the vitality of the image, a sensation of the quick, lovely blur of reality as it is apprehended rather than analyzed. I like to work on that borderline – opulent beauty in a homespun environment.”

 

Jane Freilicher, Still Life, Persian Carpet, 1955 / Estate of Jane Freilicher

Freilicher, who was born in Brooklyn and lived and worked in Greenwich Village for the whole of her life, was a leading figure of the New York School scene of the 1950s and 1960s. In his poem A Sonnet For Jane Freilicher, Frank O’Hara describes “Jane whose paintings like a stone / are massive true and silently risqué”. For Kenneth Koch, her sensibility was “a crucial part of the New York School’s influence.” The artist’s work is widely collected and is represented in major museum collections throughout the United States, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. Her paintings were selected for inclusion in the 1995 Whitney Biennial.

 

Jane Freilicher, Untitled (11th Street), ca. 1964 /  Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Freilicher was a longtime member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Her many honors included the National Academy of Design Saltus Gold Medal, the Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild Hall Museum, and the Gold Medal in Painting from the Academy of Arts and Letters, its highest honor.

In anticipation of the exhibition, which is organized in cooperation with Eric Brown Art Group (Advisor to the estate) a solo presentation of her nudes has been exhibited at the ADAA: The Art Show this past February. A 100 page fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany ’50s New York and Freilicher will also be the subject of a forthcoming biography written by Karin Roffman (Farrar, Straus, Giroux).

 

Jane Freilicher / ’50s New York
Through Jun 9, 2018 / Paul Kasmin Gallery
For more information please visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
Entangle / Physics and the Artistic Imagination
Through Apr 7, 2019 / Bildmuseet
Black holes, dark matter, gravity, space, time and motion – these are…
Black holes, dark matter, gravity, space, time and motion – these are phenomena that fascinate scientists and artists…
Time Will Tell / Darren Almond
Through Jan 20, 2019 / White Cube
What we have here is an orchestration of thematics, such that everywhere…
What we have here is an orchestration of thematics, such that everywhere one looks, a poetics of the…
Furia / Lia Rodrigues Dance Company
Dec 12 - 15, 2018 / Le Centquatre
From solitary swerves to collective radiance, the ten dancers who perform here…
From solitary swerves to collective radiance, the ten dancers who perform here drag us into the heart of…
Vivian Maier: The Color Work
Through Jan 5, 2019 / Howard Greenberg Gallery
Deepening the understanding of Maier’s oeuvre and her keenness to record, the…
Deepening the understanding of Maier’s oeuvre and her keenness to record, the works capture the street life of…
ARTPIL / Prescription .073
Art of the no deal
Gang of 20 selfies with the Crown Prince in Argentina. Hashtag kill…
Gang of 20 selfies with the Crown Prince in Argentina. Hashtag kill a journalist and cover it up….
Spreads 1975-83 / Robert Rauschenberg
Through Jan 26, 2018 / Thaddaeus Ropac
First UK exhibition of Rauschenberg’s Spreads. “More like ideas than objects –…
First UK exhibition of Rauschenberg’s Spreads. “More like ideas than objects – reels of association run through the…
Eye Massage / Ana Manso
Through Dec 22, 2018 / Pedro Cera
A surface is a place where abstraction meets daily life, of possibility…
A surface is a place where abstraction meets daily life, of possibility and of encounter, where the unpredictability…
This is Not America
Dec 3-9, 2018 / Faena Festival, Miami
The first Faena Festival is an exploration of America as a concept,…
The first Faena Festival is an exploration of America as a concept, myth and narrative, dividing us at…
Jane Freilicher / ’50s New York
Through Jun 9, 2018 / Paul Kasmin Gallery

Jane Freilicher, Early New York Evening, 1954 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce its debut exhibition of paintings by Jane Freilicher (1924 – 2014), whose estate the gallery now represents. The presentation is the first to focus on Freilicher’s paintings from the 1950s; a body of work that critic Fairfield Porter termed “traditional and radical.” It includes early still lifes, portraits and the studio views that elucidate her characteristically deft balance of interior and exterior. Hailing from the 1950s and painted within various studios in lower Manhattan, the works are evocative of a downtown milieu that has since come to represent the period’s golden age of spirited, improvisational artistic freedom. They articulate Freilicher’s enduring influence: her steadfast observation and intuitive realism are detectable within the work of a number of painters working today.

 

Jane Freilicher, Flowers in Armchair, 1956 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Over a six-decade career, Freilicher quietly painted in direct contrast to the heroic and gestured angst of Abstract Expressionism, the industrial starkness of Minimalism, and the broad sweeping cacophony of Pop. She painted in the same spirit and dedication as Bonnard and Matisse: a subtle and unrelenting observation of domestic life. John Ashbery in a 1975 review described Freilicher with “obviously she paints what she sees, but it happens that she sees a lot.”

Featured amongst the vivid array of the artist’s cityscapes are the tough iron zig-zags of fire escapes, plumes of wispy grey emerging from ConEdison smoke stacks, the quintessential red-brown of New York City apartment blocks, and the almost-abstract configurations to which these elements amount. Essential to Freilicher’s oeuvre is the ongoing balance of what’s inside and what’s outside, oftentimes realized in the delicate shift of perspective between a simple floral arrangement and the complexity of the city behind it. In the works, these landscapes are seen as on rather than beyond the window, and as such, reside in the interior. And the flowers are, to a certain extent, anthropomorphic, taking the place of the figure, as in Flowers in an Armchair (1956.)

 

Jane Freilicher, Interior, 1954 / Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

These kernels of Freilicher’s paintings – interiors, delicate light, drapery, the views of the city – were crystallized during this early period of her career. Freilicher returned tirelessly, and each time with renewed vitality, to the scenes within which she was absorbed: her home and studio. Those four walls and a window offered a fertile ground from which to paint, establishing the line of sight that eventually went on to characterize her later Water Mill paintings. Two paintings Interior (1953) and Interior (1954,) painted one year apart, illuminate this. Freilicher said of her work, “I’m quite willing to sacrifice fidelity to the subject to the vitality of the image, a sensation of the quick, lovely blur of reality as it is apprehended rather than analyzed. I like to work on that borderline – opulent beauty in a homespun environment.”

 

Jane Freilicher, Still Life, Persian Carpet, 1955 / Estate of Jane Freilicher

Freilicher, who was born in Brooklyn and lived and worked in Greenwich Village for the whole of her life, was a leading figure of the New York School scene of the 1950s and 1960s. In his poem A Sonnet For Jane Freilicher, Frank O’Hara describes “Jane whose paintings like a stone / are massive true and silently risqué”. For Kenneth Koch, her sensibility was “a crucial part of the New York School’s influence.” The artist’s work is widely collected and is represented in major museum collections throughout the United States, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. Her paintings were selected for inclusion in the 1995 Whitney Biennial.

 

Jane Freilicher, Untitled (11th Street), ca. 1964 /  Estate of Jane Freilicher & Paul Kasmin Gallery

Freilicher was a longtime member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy of Design. Her many honors included the National Academy of Design Saltus Gold Medal, the Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild Hall Museum, and the Gold Medal in Painting from the Academy of Arts and Letters, its highest honor.

In anticipation of the exhibition, which is organized in cooperation with Eric Brown Art Group (Advisor to the estate) a solo presentation of her nudes has been exhibited at the ADAA: The Art Show this past February. A 100 page fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany ’50s New York and Freilicher will also be the subject of a forthcoming biography written by Karin Roffman (Farrar, Straus, Giroux).

 

Jane Freilicher / ’50s New York
Through Jun 9, 2018 / Paul Kasmin Gallery
For more information please visit the exhibition page >