Holding an exclusive exhibition at David Zwirner Hong Kong, American artist Suzan Frecon has launched her first ever solo exhibit in the region.
For almost five decades, Frecon has created abstract oil paintings and works on paper that are at once reductive and expressive. Made over long stretches of time, her canvases embody the durational activity of painting itself and invite the viewer’s sustained attention: these, as the artist herself has noted, are “paintings that you experience.”
The artist’s compositions are characterized by arcing and asymmetrically balanced forms and are defined by precise spatial and proportional relationships. Each surface is developed carefully and gradually, evolving from one canvas to the next in a process that combines preparation and intuition, order and chance. In Frecon’s paintings, composition serves as a foundational structure, holding colour, material, and light.
Mixing pigments and oils to differing effects, the artist’s almost tactile use of colour and contrasting matte and sheen surfaces heightens the visual experience of her work. Depending on the light source and viewing angle, different perceptions emerge. Colours and surfaces vary in terms of density and reflectivity, and areas of the compositions frequently shift between positive and negative space, or between figure and ground.
As Richard Shiff has noted, "Within a fantasia of colour, Frecon suspends the force of her structure. Offsetting the unseen mathematical foundation, her visible surface is organic and irregular as if she were working against herself...Her paint, especially along ellipsoidal contours, develops an uneven appearance due to the distribution of the pigment and it's oil binder as she works the material against the resist of the linen. Add to this the transient effects of ambient light from which Frecon's surfaces are designed to benefit, and what began as a logical geometrical structure has become suspended in a web of living sensation. Her composition…may well is experienced as anti-composition. It is and is not.
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