March 31 – May 5, 2012
Opening reception for the artist Saturday March 31st 6-8pm
Western Project is proud to present the first exhibition of work by Eric Freeman in five years. Exhibiting primarily in Europe since 2007, the New York artist returns with a new body of oil paintings rich in color and complexity. By combining beeswax with oil paint and iridescent pigments, Freeman leaps in to a new territory of luminous abstraction. Using bold compositions that simultaneously mirror technology and nature, and blur the notions of artificial and natural, the work references science fiction and mythological allegories; the still or flickering light from 2001: A Space Odyssey collides with the solemn northern hues of Casper David Frederick’s landscapes. But perhaps the paintings are more akin to the phenomenological light in the works of James Turrell, or rave concert-lighting – each an evocative and often disjunctive experience – both visually and bodily.
Freeman has entwined many historical and contemporary ideas into his classic vision this time using overlapping or horizontal bands of color. Echoes of Barnett Newman’s paintings or a sunrise over the Aegean come to mind. Landscape is immediately referenced and then interrupted by a vertical column of light in the paintings. It is the contrasting compositional format which slyly creates indeterminate spatial relationships in each work – what is foreground, what is surface, what color is it exactly, for the colors shift as one moves around the canvas, enhanced by his use of iridescent pigments. The pictures never appear the same twice and the viewer’s experience of the painting is never the same twice. The subtle shifting of color in the paintings is in tenuous contrast with the sensuous surfaces of paint; these are grittier and more anxious works, slippery beauty at once urbane and ethereal.
Eric Freeman’s work was recently acquired by the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. He has shown at the Wetterling Gallery in Stockholm, Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Alain Noirhomme, Brussels, Mary Boone Gallery, Stephen Stux Gallery and Feature Gallery in New York, Glen Horowitz Gallery in East Hampton, and the Saatchi Gallery in London and is included in the Saatchi collection. His work is also in the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation and the Kiasma – Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland.
For further information and images, please contact the gallery: firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-838-0609.