Suzan Frecon: oil paintings and sun
Texts by David Cohen and Suzan Frecon
For the past four decades, Suzan Frecon has become known for abstract oil paintings and watercolors that avoid facile explanations or recognizable visual associations. Instead, compositions integrate color, surface, and light to create an abstract visual reality that she intends to exist solely on its strength as art. In a deliberative and searching process, she works toward painting that provides a complex, powerful, and inexplicable experience for the viewer. As she has stated, “The physical reality and the spiritual content of my paintings are the same.”
oil paintings and sun documents Frecon’s third solo exhibition at David Zwirner in New York, held in 2015, and is the most vivid presentation to date of the artist’s engagement with natural light, the always-varying subtleties of which she integrates into how the painting is created. The focal point of the catalogue is the painstakingly reproduced color plates of fourteen recent paintings, many of which are depicted several times in various types of light and from multiple angles, allowing the reader to experience the work in a way that is more akin to seeing them in person. In addition, it features an illuminating and lively essay by art writer David Cohen, which strives to explain the complexity of viewing and experiencing Frecon’s work. Rounding out the catalogue are numerous details and installation views, atmospheric color photographs of the artist’s studio and materials, and an illustrated visual appendix showing a selection of Frecon’s reference sources for the comprised works, including insightful commentary written by the artist.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Suzan Frecon
Contributors: David Cohen, Suzan Frecon
Designer: David Chickey, Skolkin/Chickey
Printer: Trifolio, Verona, Italy
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 10 1/4 x 12 1/2 in (26 x 31.8 cm)
Reproductions: 43 color, 5 b&w
Retail: $55 | £35 | $430 HKD | €48
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.
David Cohen is publisher and editor of artcritical.com. Born in London and currently based in New York, he has been active since the 1980s as an independent scholar, exhibition curator, and college instructor. He was art critic for The New York Sun (2003–2008) and gallery director at the New York Studio School (2001–2010). For the last ten years he has been the moderator of The Review Panel, a debating forum of contemporary art criticism hosted by the National Academy Museum in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.