Monday, December 22, 2014

Made With Love

During cold winter days, I seek the comfort of quilted flannel. Being wrapped in the fabric chosen and sewn by my Mother enfolds me in both warmth and her love.
My mother grew up in the country. The dresses she learned to sew were the ones that draped the girl that my father fell in love with. When they married and moved nearer the city were Dad found work, Mom took in sewing to help make ends meet. Each Christmas she sewed all of us kids special outfits. I looked forward to that velveteen dress each year. I can only imagine what stress she must have put herself through to get them done in time for Christmas Eve.
Mom started quilting after we were all grown up. It became her primary creative outlet and a meditation. Now, instead of velveteen dresses we are blessed with beautiful quilted blankets. The quilt above is called "Amid the Cold of Winter". The quilt label on the back includes a copy of a cardinal that my Dad, who is no longer with us, drew for one of the family Christmas cards. I am lucky to have a number of quilts made by the artist known as "Mom". Thank you Mom, for all of your love and encouragement. 
Great Grandma, Me and Mom
Wishing you a wonderful holiday and many blessings in the New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jane Freilicher (1924 - 2014)

Painter and muse Jane Freilicher passed away on December 9, 2014.
She was and will continue to be an inspiration. 
She will be missed.
Jane Freilicher (in film star pose)
Water Mill, NY 1958
photo by John Jonas Gruen via
Study in Blue and Gray, 2011
oil on linen 24" x 24"
via Tibor de Nagy
Frank O’Hara, 1951
oil on linen, 65 × 23 inches. Collection of J. Philip O’Hara, Providence, Rhode Island,
and Ariel Follett O’Hara, Deerfield, Illinois. via

Freilicher was friend and muse to poets of the New York School, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler - to whom she was muse confidante, beloved brain. "One doesn't stay friends with somebody for 40 years unless they have a lot of nice qualities, such as brilliance, "Mr Ashbery wrote two decades ago. "Jane Freilicher is also the wittiest person I have ever known." -  via Gina Bellafante, NYT
Twelfth Street and Beyond, 1976
oil on linen 50" x 60"
photo courtesy of Tibor de Nagy gallery via

Looking Forward to See Jane Real Soon
May drew in its breath and smelled June’s roses
when Jane put roses on the sill.  The sky,
in blue for elms, planted its lightest kiss,
the kind called a butterfly, on bricks fresh
from their kiln as the roses from their bush.
Summer went by in green, then two new leaves
stood on the avocado stem.  The sky
darkened the color of Jane’s eyes and snow
wrote her name in white.  Such wet snow, that stuck
to the underside of curled iron and stone.
Jane, among fresh lilacs in her room, watched
December, in brown with furs, turn on lights
until the city trembled like a tree
in which wind moves.  And it was all for her.
James Schuyler 1955 via 
Jane Freilicher and her husband Joe Hazan
Standing on the rail of their deck in Water Mill in the early 1960s
photo via courtesy of Elizabeth Hazan
Freilicher had the rare ability to combine the genres of still life, landscape and portraiture.
Farm Scene, 1963
Tibor de Nagy via
Mallows, 1997 image via
By those who worked with her, Ms. Freilicher was often described as generous, low-maintenance and modest. Eric Brown, co-owner of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in Manhattan, which represented the artist for the majority of her career, first met her in her Manhattan studio when he was a mere college student, he recalled last week during a telephone interview. He was staring at a freshly painted landscape of mallow flowers set against a clear blue Long Island sky, when a voice startled him from behind.

"Do you think it need a cloud"

"I was stunned by the question, and amazed. I'd never met an artist like her," Mr. Brown said. "She possessed a unique combination of total lack of pomposity, supreme confidence and generosity - the generosity of caring what a 23-year-old kid thought. She was a completely intuitive and brilliant artist. " via Alyssa Melillo 27East.

Self Portrait in a Mirror, 1971
image via
The Sun Breaks Through, 1991
image via
Jane Freilicher in her Water Mill Studio
JPhotograph © 2011 Jonathan Becker via
Backgammon, 1976
oil on canvas 38" x 44 1/8"
via Utah Museum of Fine Arts 
Jane Freilicher in her NYC studio, 1984
photo by Nancy Crampton via
A Jar of Forsythia, 1990
image via
Early New York Evening, 1954
oil on linen 51 1/2 x 31 3/4
via Tibor de Nagy
A planned 90th birthday celebration suddenly became a memorial to Freilicher's life. A long lost 1953 film "Presenting Jane" was shown, with the startling image of Jane appearing to walk on water. The last person to speak at the event was poet John Ashbery who said, "Her work is rich in meanings that continue to resonate with us even after we have moved on and are thinking of something else." via
Jane Freilicher is survived by her daughter, also an artist,  Elizabeth Hazan, son-in-law Stephen Hicks and three grandchildren, Lucian, Katherine and Benjamin. 
My condolences on your great loss.
Light Blue Above, 2003
image via
Links
Generosity of Everyday Surrealism, Jane Freilicher's Friends Celebrate her Life and Art - New York Times
Jane Freilicher, 90, A Lyrical Painter of Long Island Landscapes is Dead - New York Times
Jane Freilicher, "A Poet's Painter" - Art in America
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 - Poetry Foundation
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 - The Paris Review
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 and the Poets of the New York School - Locus Solus Andrew Epstein
Jane Freilicher, A Painter and Great Wit, Dead at 90 - East Hampton Star
Jane Freilicher, 90, Shaped Long Island Landscapes - 27East
Jane Freilicher, Painter Among Poets - Tibor de Nagy
Leave it to Jane by John Ashbery - Poetry Foundation
John Ashbery on Jane Freilicher - Art in America
Leave it to Jane by John Ashbery - Poetry Foundation
Explicit as a Star - Poetry Foundation
All of the works depicted are by Jane Freilicher with source links.
Nasturtiums and Petunias, 2003
oil on linen 36" x 30" via
In memoriam
Jane Freilicher November 29, 1924 - December 9, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Home Spun

"Home Spun" is currently on display at the Silas Marder Gallery. 
The show features artists using traditional materials.
Quilting, embroidery, knitting and manipulation of fabric.
Some Assembly, 2002 by Susie Brandt
Hand embroidered "red work" quilt 
using images from owner's manuals of objects purchased by the artist
81" x 67.5 "
Brandt memorializes everyday objects with this "red work" quilt.
I didn't properly capture how great everything looks in this space.
Bankrolling Climate Change, 2012 by Elizabeth Duffy
Embroidered and Quilted Cotton
75" x 56"
The knit sculptures by Albertini made me smile.
Head by Sydney Albertini
Knit 15" x18" x 14"
photo via Sydney Albertini's website here
Featured artists:
Josh Blackwell
Susie Brandt
Elizabeth Duffy
Louise Eastman
Saskia Friedrich
Aaron Mcintosh
The show is up until December 21st
Press release with more about the show here

Silas Marder Gallery
120 Snake Hollow Road
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
631-702-2306

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Art in Unexpected Places

I discovered the work of Carolyn Munaco quite by accident. I found my eye drawn to a portrait of a weakfish on a weathered piece of driftwood at Lynch's Garden Center. Her work is modestly displayed amidst the home decor. Munaco lives in nearby Hampton Bays where she creates art in a number of mediums. Found here, are some of her portraits of sea life on recovered beach wood. 
Photos below are from Carolyn Munaco's website.
"The overwhelming desire and passion I have to translate my observations and experiences within my natural environment into art work has been with me since I was a young child.  
      I can often be found along the shores with my camera, a sketch book, gathering materials and stockpiling experiences to use in my art work. The colors, the lines, the flora, the fauna, the weather, the moon, the sun, along with the tides are all represented in my work. My pure enjoyment of the coastlines and the outdoors of Eastern Long Island continually provide me with inspiration to create and evolve as an artist." Carolyn Munaco via
by Carolyn Munaco
images via
for more information go here
A video from Munaco's successful Kickstarter campaign:


Hampton Bays Artist Carolyn Munaco Kickstarts Riverhead Exhibition - article from Dan't Papers here
Carolyn Munaco was a wonderful and unexpected discovery. 
Yes, I did bring home the weakfish portrait. 

Carolyn Munaco
Phone: 516.480.7152
http://www.munacofineart.com

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Jackson Pollock by Helen A. Harrison

The Parrish Art Museum hosted a book signing for Helen A. Harrison in honor of the recent publication of her Jackson Pollock monograph. Harrison, an art historian and former curator of both the Parrish Art Museum and Guild Hall is the current director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton. A lecturer and writer of countless scholarly articles and reviews as well as books, this beautiful book should be the cornerstone of any exploration of Jackson Pollock. 
I loved this book. It serves as both an introduction and a summation. It whets the appetite to discover more while distilling biographical details down to the most essential. It is filled with thought provoking commentary which enabled me to better appreciate Pollock's artistic journey. I had never seen this photo of the young Paul Jackson Pollock.
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) c1928
Archives of American Art 
Smithsonian Collection
image via
I found these images particularly compelling.
Self Portrait by Jackson Pollock c1930-3
oil on gesso ground on canvas, mounted on composition board
7 1/4 " x 5 1/4" The Pollock-Kranser Foundation, Inc. New York
image via
Croaking Movement  by Jackson Pollock, 1946
(Sounds in the Grass Series)
Oil on Canvas
54" x 44 1/8"
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Portrait and a Dream by Jackson Pollock, 1953
oil on canvas
58 1/2 " x 134 3/4"
Dallas Museum of Art
image via
Thank you Helen for properly reacquainting me with Jackson Pollock!

Links
Helen A. Harrison website here
The book is available from Phaedon here
Phaedon Focus: Jackson Pollock Acknowledgements and Sources here

In Harrison's source material there is a reference to a quote by Pollock "energy and motion made visible" found on the back of a photograph of Pollock by Hans Namuth. I followed the source link and was excited to see the photograph of Pollock's handwritten statement on the Smithsonian Archives of American Art site. The book and its source materials will lead you to further exploration.
Jackson Pollock, handwritten statement, ca. 1950
pasted to the back of a photograph of Pollock by Hans Namuth
 Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Papers, 
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Box 6, folder 11, frame 9
The photo that Pollock inscribed.
photograph of Pollock by Hans Namuth 1950
 Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Papers
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Box 6, folder 11, frame 8
both images from here

technic is the result of a need 
new needs demand new technics 
total control  -  denial of
the accident 
states of order
organic intensity

energy and motion
made visible
memories arrested in space,
human needs and motives
acceptance

Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock 51 by Hans Namuth
video via
Also by Helen A Harrison
click here for more info