artworldTributes
Friday, December 12th, 2014

“A button of color can make the world shake”: Jane Freilicher, 1924-2014


Jane Freilicher photographed by Jill Krementz on April 13, 2013 at Tibor de Nagy Gallery.

Jane Freilicher photographed by Jill Krementz on April 13, 2013 at Tibor de Nagy Gallery.

My favorite Freilicher paintings–I wrote about them once–were her extraordinary crosses of still-life and landscape.  It is one thing to turn a still-life into a landscape or even vice versa, but to create an image that maintains the integrity of both genres is something else again.  Jane’s beautiful hand makes it look easy but it is very hard to do. Try it.

The protagonists of these great paintings, a nasturtium and a city, say, or a peony and a salt marsh, have complex relationships. They bob and weave with and against each other, moving gently but with more than a touch of contained conflict. They punch as often as they caress.

These are courageous paintings suggesting that a button of color — a flower or a dab of paint – can make the world shake.

Jane Freilicher is my idea of an artist. Her long career, her endless invention, her intelligence, her attention to the job at hand, her integrity – and all her wonderful paintings, which is what we have left now.

Her luminous color–her exemplary life.

Jane Freilicher, My Cubism, 2004. Oil on linen, 25 x 25 inches. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Jane Freilicher, My Cubism, 2004. Oil on linen, 25 x 25 inches. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery

From artcritical’s calendar for December 12, 2014:

Presenting Jane: 90th Birthday Celebration for Jane Freilicher

131 East 10th Street
 Planned as a celebration of the Jane Freilicher’s recent 90th birthday, this event from The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church now serves double duty as an early memorial to the legendary painters’ and poets’ painter. Readers and speakers include such luminaries of the New York Schools of their respective mediums as John Ashbery, Anselm Berrigan, Adam Fitzgerald, Maxine Groffsky, Tom Healy, Alex Katz, Vincent Katz, Amy Klein, Jenni Quilter, Karen Roffman, Charles Simic, Emily Skillings, Richard Thomas and Anne Waldman. Rounding off the evening is the screening of the recently rediscovered film short that lends its title to the event along with Rudy Burckhardt’s Mounting Tension, with a cake and wine reception to follow. Tickets at the door are $8 or $7 for students and seniors. 131 East 10th Street at Second Avenue, at 8PM

 


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