Jane Freilicher established herself in the 1950s among a generation of New York painters including Helen Frankenthaler, Alex Katz, Joan Mitchell, and Larry Rivers. A self-assured and independent painter, Freilicher soon developed a painting style that took from the lessons of abstraction but was adamantly representational, executed with a light, deft touch and an unpretentious beauty.
‘50s New York is the first exhibition 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. 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.
The exhibition catalogue includes an essay by writer and poet Nathan Kernan, a 1958 conversation between Jane Freilicher and John Ashbery and rare archival material from across the artist’s life. Acting as a document of the exhibition as staged, it also presents further examples of her work from the period. A full chronology is included.
Softcover, 94 pages; 12 ½ x 9 inches / 31.7 x 22.9 cm.