Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen at the Parrish Art Museum

Posted August 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm in Art, News

J&J SS2Grey Day, 1963 by Jane Freilicher 
Oil on canvas 24 x 32 inches
Parrish Art Museum,
Water Mill, NY, Gift of Larry Rivers

A NEW show by American artists Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen will open at the Parrish Art Museum Long Island’s East End later this year. Freilicher (1924–2014) and Wilson (1924–2015) abandoned the popular abstract expressionist art scene of the 1950s New York, where they came to prominence to “reinvent traditional landscape and still-life painting based on highly individual approaches to representation”.

The show is the first museum exhibition that examines the work of the two artists, who were close friends, from the beginnings of their careers in New York, who also lived and worked within a mile of one another for 50 years, near the Long Island hamlet of Water Mill. Both artists exhibited widely in the US and are collected by institutions such as Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art. The show explores the similarities and differences in the artists’ work.

Organised by theme, the exhibition also shows how the light and natural beauty of Long Island’s East End was a primary focus of, and major influence on the work of Freilicher and Wilson.

J&J SS1Jane Freilicher, The Lace Tablecloth, 1972 Oil on canvas 50 x 60 1/8 inches
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, gift of Eugenia Doll

Alicia Longwell, PhD., The Lewis B and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Parrish Art Museum, who organised the exhibition says, “At a time when abstract painting was thought to be the only valid, and valued, way to make art, these two artists began to look at the world around them in terms of how a painting could present a heightened reality and still deal in representational images—each conveying her own authentic response to the natural world.”

J&J SS4Jane Wilson  Trees at Mecox, 1958 Oil on linen
17 1/8 x 12 inches Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, N.Y., Gift of Jane Freilicher

The exhibition at the Parrish, spanning the full range of the artists’ explorations of landscape, still life, and portraits from the 1950s through 2007, reveals how each pushed the boundaries of traditional approaches to create highly individual accounts of the world around them. Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen features approximately 20 paintings by each artist as well as works on paper, plus portraits of the two women painted by Fairfield Porter and Alex Katz, and photographs by Wilson’s husband John Jonas Gruen, chronicling the women’s lives.

by Caroline Simpson

Seen and Unseen, On View is at the Parrish Art Museum 279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, NY 11976, United States
Tel: +1 631-283-2118 from October 25, 2015 until January 18, 2016

Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen  is made possible, in part, by The Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Foundation, Mildred C. Brinn, DC Moore Gallery,  Mary and Howard S. Frank, The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Salomon, Lola Goldring and Family, Barbara and Jon Landau, Jen and James Marden, Patti and Mark Renton, Dr. and Mrs. Jeremiah A. Barondess, and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Public Funding provided by Suffolk County.

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