Text by John Yau
The newest monograph dedicated to the striking new work of internationally acclaimed abstract painter Suzan Frecon.
Suzan Frecon features new paintings, which highlight the artist’s ongoing exploration of the interaction of shape, color, texture, and light. Painted over long periods of time, these works are the result of a deliberative process guided by a deep understanding of color and the properties of paint. Frecon has been exploring the issues of horizontality and verticality, asymmetrical balances, and interacting arrangements of color for over five decades. The result is an ongoing dialogue that yields new and surprising paintings at every turn.
Frecon’s knowledge of color is deeply rooted in art history; her selection of color brings with it an understanding of the scientific properties of pigments as well as their use by Renaissance painters. Esteemed poet and critic John Yau explores this inspiration in his illuminating essay, in which he teases out the connections between these bold abstract works and historic figurative paintings. Highlighting Frecon’s interest in these paintings for their form and color rather than their narrative, Yau offers a new and intriguing way of looking at both present and past.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Suzan Frecon
Contributors: John Yau
Designer: Beverly Joel
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 9.75 × 11.5 in | 24.8 × 29.2 cm
Reproductions: 30 illustrations
Retail: $35.00 | $47 CAN | £25
For the past four decades, Suzan Frecon has become known for abstract oil paintings and watercolors that are at once reductive and expressive. Composed with subtle, interacting arrangements of color, which the artist applies with meticulous attention to the physical qualities of her medium, they appear to blur the distinction between matter and transcendence. Color assumes a physical property and almost appears material; as the artist has stated, “The reality and the spiritual of my paintings are the same.
John Yau is an American poet who writes about art, collaborates with artists, and is the publisher of Black Square Editions. His most recent book is Catherine Murphy (2016), the first monograph on this celebrated artist. He is one of the founders of Hyperallergic Weekend, an online magazine, and contributes regularly to it, as well as to The Brooklyn Rail. Yau is also professor of critical studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.