Joanne Freeman: New Paintings and Drawings

18 February - 26 March 2016

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Recent Paintings and Drawings, a solo exhibition featuring new work by Joanne Freeman.


Joanne Freeman’s current body of work is a cross between geometry and gesture. The arch of her consistent lines and the overall proportions employed are related to her body and the length of her arms’ extension. The resulting visual language has an almost austere presence, but also a playful sense of movement.


The particular style she is working in was influenced by a trip to Otranto, Italy. Freeman was struck by the way colors seemed to intensify against patterns of shadows and light on the white surfaces of buildings. The reductive abstraction of these particular views had its effect on her work, and Freeman began focusing on how to position color against variations of white. Freeman is most interested in evoking a similar visceral response from the viewer, rather than a literal analysis.


The musical nature of these marks may give the appearance of spontaneous improvisation, but her consistent lines are created by masking out areas with tape and applying multiple layers of paint, not unlike commercial screen-printing. Their precision contrasts the painterly effects of the canvas and the doodle-like character of the lines. The lines are exact, but not fussy, maintaining a sense of whimsy that enhances their complex subtlety. The handmade styling purposefully reflects utopian Bauhaus concepts and the merging of art and design.


Freeman’s drawings also explore the interplay of space and color while celebrating randomness. Inspired by the geometry of New York City and the effects of light and shadow, the works reference graphic popular culture and the designs of mid-century media. While these sources may be defined by their directness, the drawings, made with gouache on handmade Indian Khadi paper, subvert simplicity with their idiosyncratic compositions.


“My quest for fictional abstract purity is derailed by the human elements of inaccuracy, humor and random thoughts.”  - Joanne Freeman


Joanne Freeman holds an MA from New York University. She has been exhibited on the East and West Coast and internationally, including at The Queens Museum and the Galerie d’art in Casablanca.  Her work can be found in a number of private and corporate collections such as The Prudential, Reader’s Digest, and University of Maine Museum of Art. Freeman has taught painting and drawing at New York University and The New School, among other institutions.