Jane Freilicher / ’50s New York
April 19 – June 9, 2018

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
April 19 – June 9, 2018 / Paul Kasmin Gallery
Please visit the exhibition page >

David van Dartel: This Time Tomorrow
Mar 7 – Apr 26, 2024
David van Dartel, acclaimed Dutch Artist, presents a curated selection of his first two captivating and exceptionally successful series,...
+
Truth Told Slant: Contemporary Photography
Mar 1 – Aug 11, 2024
This exhibition will feature the work of five photographers who take unique approaches to documentary photography that challenge the...
+
Alex Webb: Dislocations
Publication
Dislocations presents a contemporary update of Alex Webb’s long out-of-print 1998 book by the same name first published by...
+
Fight Against the Sea Rise
Participatory Public Action by Andrea Stefanelli
Tracing methods typical of conceptual art, of performance and participatory art, Stefanelli seems to welcome the lesson of De...
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
International Women’s Day / 2024
Artpil / Prescription .148
Founded over 100 years ago evolving through various names and dates, this fulcrum of women’s rights was adopted by...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers. Dead...
+
David van Dartel: This Time Tomorrow
Mar 7 – Apr 26, 2024
David van Dartel, acclaimed Dutch Artist, presents a curated selection of his first two captivating and exceptionally successful series,...
+
Truth Told Slant: Contemporary Photography
Mar 1 – Aug 11, 2024
This exhibition will feature the work of five photographers who take unique approaches to documentary photography that challenge the...
+
Alex Webb: Dislocations
Publication
Dislocations presents a contemporary update of Alex Webb’s long out-of-print 1998 book by the same name first published by...
+
Fight Against the Sea Rise
Participatory Public Action by Andrea Stefanelli
Tracing methods typical of conceptual art, of performance and participatory art, Stefanelli seems to welcome the lesson of De...
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
International Women’s Day / 2024
Artpil / Prescription .148
Founded over 100 years ago evolving through various names and dates, this fulcrum of women’s rights...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers.
+
  • Mara Palena: Oikeiôsis
    Publication
    Witty Books
    International

    The knowledge of one’s inner self as the sole tool for self-fulfillment, for stoically embracing the human condition in all its turmoils – that is what ancient Greeks used to call Oikeiôsis. The same word was chosen by Mara Palena to call a project that unfolds over the duration of existence. The analog images shot by the artist from her childhood to today do not follow any external precept. (more…)