Joanne Freeman at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Blog post

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is thrilled to announce New York Conversation, an upcoming exhibition of new work by Joanne Freeman. New York Conversation is Freeman’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. The show will be accompanied by a group show curated by Freeman titled Betty and Veronica. They will run concurrently through February 11th, 2023.

New York Conversation references my studio process, and metaphorically describes the random thoughts, snippets of conversation, lyrics and memories that ebb and flow over the course of a painting. Visual signs, nostalgia and the emotional residue of color, guide my aesthetic choices,” Freeman says. While intuitive, Freeman’s stencil-like forms and irregular hard-edge curves harken Modernism and minimalist sensibilities. This is heightened by a palette of saturated primary colors, or monochromatic works.   “My paintings reference forms found in architecture and design,” she says.  “I create compositions based on loose geometry and layered saturated colors. The hard edge process of cutting shapes and layering color onto treated raw linen, recalls qualities of mid-century low-tech graphics, color field painting and collage,” she continues. 

The forms are hard-edged while still breathy and organic. The subtle transparencies at the edges of the forms and the contrast of the brushstrokes across the tooth of linen reveal the artist’s hand. “When applying oil paint to linen I try to accentuate the inherent qualities of both mediums,” she says. “ I consider both the transparency and opacity of the colors, how they abut and overlap, and how they respond to the textured tooth of the linen.” She is mindful of each medium’s materiality when painting.  Her saturated colors in either gouache or oil paint are absorbed by the handmade paper or linen, enhancing the modernist flatness of her forms and use of space. “My reductive abstract paintings are about the beauty of singular color, the impact of pure abstract forms and the quiet order that cuts through the noise,” Freeman says.