Thursday, February 19, 2015

Joanne Freeman

"My quest for fictional abstract purity is derailed by the human elements of inaccuracy, humor and random thoughts."

Sweet Spot, 2013, oil on shaped canvas, 30 x 33 inches

About the Work

I have lived and worked as a painter in New York City for over thirty years. My early paintings were influenced by art, symbols and signage found on the streets of New York. That early visual language emerged into a reductive formal language with roots in modernist aesthetics and ideology.

My current abstract oil paintings combine gesture and geometry. The scale and proportions relating directly to my body proportions and my own arms reach. As the scale of the paintings increases the basic qualities of color, line and shape became amplified. The physical force of the painting now relates to both the personal and surrounding architectural space.

The consistent lines in my painting are made with a process similar to commercial silk-screening. I cut and mask out areas with tape before applying successive layers of oil paint. This controlled approach to mark making contrasts and accentuates, the painterly effects of the canvas and the doodle like character of the lines. The stylistic combination of the commercial, and the hand made, recalls the teachings of the Bauhaus and the merging of art and design. My quest for fictional abstract purity is derailed by the human elements of inaccuracy, humor and random thoughts.

White (c), 2012, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

 Half Moon, 2014, oil on canvas, 30 inches diameter

Reflecting on Cape Cod

I started spending summers on the Cape with my family when I was around five years old. We rented the same cottage in a large group of cottages every summer in West Yarmouth. I grew up over those summers with many of the same families returning year after year. My family later bought a house in West Yarmouth, and my daughter has grown up swimming and playing on the very same streets and beaches that I first experienced as a child.

I now live and work as an artist in New York City, but I still spend summers on Cape Cod and still think of returning to the Cape as "going home". I partially credit those idyllic childhood summers with my choice of becoming an artist. The flow of days created a sense of freedom and discovery that I later sought to recreate in my studio practice. The state of mind that comes from unscheduled time and play.

White (a), 2012, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

White (d), 2012, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches