Joanne Freeman

United States 1954

Abstract Art

Joanne Freeman
Joanne Freeman
United States
February 17, 2016
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

Joanne Freeman liked art since an early age, had painted and took courses at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but when time for college came, she chose to major in writing and sociology. Definitive transition came around her Junior year in college, when she had her first ‘wow’ moments inspired by art. Influences like architecture, design and symbols which she found in New York led to very reductive formality of her artworks, rooted in modern aesthetics and ideology. This reductive formality is the core, as the artworks are austere in their means, but yet manage to successfully communicate with the viewers. Boundaries and limitations of choice that Freeman decided to apply to her paintings give her the opportunity to emphasize the represented quality.

Reductive formal language of the artworks

Joanne Freeman - Covers 24-Blue A - Covers 24-Blue B
Joanne Freeman – Covers 24-Blue A, 2015 / Covers 24-Blue B, 2015

Formal Education is an Entrance into the World of Art

She received her BS in Fine Arts from University of Wisconsin in 1976 and her MA in Studio Art from New York University in 1981. Generations of student had the privilege of learning from her while she taught Painting and Drawing at The New School for Social Research, and during her time as a visiting lecturer at The New York Studio School and the Massachusetts College of Art.

Freeman thinks that formal education in art is important as it provides an entry point to a world of art, galleries, and other artists’ work. It also gives students a specific vocabulary, which allows them to better express themselves. Creating artworks is a solitary act, and that presence in the artistic courses gives young people the first taste of belonging in the artistic community.

Young artists can better express themselves if they are educated

Joanne Freeman - Covers 18-Red B - Covers 20-Red A
Joanne Freeman – Covers 18-Red B, 2015 / Covers 20-Red A, 2015

Adriatic Light and Calligraphy

Recent line of work is largely influenced by the artist’s trip to Otranto in Italy. The shadows and light on the white facades of the buildings were mesmerizing. Adriatic light which makes darkness of shadows turn into color can be seen in the work. The artwork titled Otranto is a beautiful example of creativity Freeman possesses. Depth of the ultramarine gave it almost a transparent look. Then cobalt and turquoise emerged. Calligraphic shapes painted with a flat brush were put together and they eventually formed a beautiful piece.

Ultramarine, cobalt and turquoise

Joanne Freeman - Otranto, 2012
Joanne Freeman – Otranto, 2012

Jumping Right In Without Preparation

There is no sketching, the artist just jumps right in. Painting is a very physical process which involves making a lot of mistakes. Sketch can’t be transposed into painting, at least that’s how the artist feels. Working is a spontaneous act for Freeman, and any kind of preparation takes away that feeling. She wants the lines, colors and forms to coalesce, and for her painting to be read as a whole. Circular lines in her pieces are made from the sweep of her arm, and there the physicality of her work really stands out, as the proportions of these lines are dependent on the proportions of the artist.

Working is a spontaneous act for Freeman

Gallery contact and home contact are on the official site
Joanne Freeman – Covers 24-Green A, 2015 / Covers 24-Green B, 2015

Always Working

Freeman works in series and on several pieces at once. So, every painting is inspired by the once previously painted, but also by the ones which are in the process of creation. Of course she sometimes hits a blockade, and admits she is able to paint bad paintings in series. The artist knows that taking a break may be a good solution, but she just keeps working until she finds the right path. Gouache on Khadi, a handmade Indian paper and oil on canvas are the mediums Freeman works in. Shapes and the hard edges that make her artworks recognizable come from the idea that the painting is read as the 2-dimensional surface but also the 3-diminsional object. The circular ones are the good example of that.

Gouache on Kadi and oil on canvas are mediums of choice

Joanne Freeman - Moonwalk G - Moonwalk H
Joanne Freeman – Moonwalk G, 2015 / Moonwalk H, 2015

Find Your Identity

A perfectionist in a way, Freeman considers a painting finished when it’ not bothering her anymore, when everything is in its place and the message is clear. As someone whose identity was formed through art-making, Joanne Freeman knows how important is to do something you enjoy in life. Like listening to music when you’re a kid, it just forms your early identity, and everything else is building on top of that. It gave the artist inspiration and energy (especially rock n’ roll). The painting also had a huge part of her identity, and still is. Her paintings are her memories, her experience and her spirit. They speak for her in a way words never could.

She is represented by IdeelArt gallery in London, UK.

Joanne Freeman lives and works in New York City.

Featured image courtesy of IdeelArt.

Images copyright © Joanne Freeman and IdeelArt.

Upcoming Events

Jan 25th, 2020 - Feb 23rd, 2020

"Homage to the square" (Albers, Malevich..), curated by English artist Richard Caldicott

IDEELART, Online Exclusive

Please select an option to add "Homage to the square" (Albers, Malevich..), curated by English artist Richard Caldicott into your calendar

Ongoing Events

Jan 25th, 2020 - Feb 23rd, 2020

"Homage to the square" (Albers, Malevich..), curated by English artist Richard Caldicott

IDEELART, Online Exclusive

Please select an option to add "Homage to the square" (Albers, Malevich..), curated by English artist Richard Caldicott into your calendar

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Joanne FreemanKathryn Markel Fine Arts, NY, NYSolo
2016Color, Shape and Form IIIGallery Gris, Hudson, NYGroup
201650 Shades of RedHerter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MassGroup
2015Joanne Freeman490 Gallery, Brooklyn NYSolo
2015Formal Aspects, Visual Dialogue in StructureCape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, Mass Group
2015A few Conversations About Colordm contemporary NYC, NYGroup
2015PaperazziJanet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015Sideshow NationSideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2014Familiar LIneKey Projects, Queens, NYGroup
2014Color, Shape and FormGalerie Gris, Hudson, NYGroup
2013Joanne FreemanUniversity of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, MaineSolo
2013WitThe Painting Center, NY, NYGroup
2012Joanne FreemanGallery Ehva, Provincetown, MassSolo
2012MaineBogart Salon, Bushwick, NYGroup
2012Instructors ShowThe School House Gallery, Provincetown, MassGroup
2012PaperazziJanet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn NYGroup
2011PaperJanet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2010Color-Time-SpaceRosenberg Gallery, Calkins Hall, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY Group
2009Color-Time-SpaceJanet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn NYGroup
2009Color-Time-SpaceLohin Geduld Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2009Drawing AtlasPennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PAGroup
2008Joanne FreemanLohin Geduld Gallery NY, NYSolo
2008Drawing AtlasLohin Geduld Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2008UnknownMasur Museum of Art, Monroe, LAGroup
2008SelectionsLohin Geduld Gallery NY, NYGroup
2007Summer Group ShowLohin Geduld Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2006Neo Plastic ReduxElizabeth Harris Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2006Contemporary Art MonthSan Antonio, TXGroup
2006Contemporary Art MonthJack the Pelican, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2005Joanne FreemanLohin Geduld Gallery NY, NYSolo
2005Joanne FreemanAu 9 Galerie D'art, Casablanca, MoroccoSolo
2005ModBroadway Gallery, NY, NYGroup
2005Made in the USAPickled Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2004Repetition & Change with Gerri RachinsBrant Gallery, Mass.College of Art, Boston, MassGroup
2001History LessonsAramona Studio, NY, NYGroup
2000One on OneMassachusetts College of Art, Boston, MassGroup
1992Joanne FreemanBess Cutler Gallery, Santa Monica, CaliforniaSolo
1992Persistence of Painting, Varieties of VisionKohn Pederson, Fox Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1991Joanne FreemanBess Cutler Gallery, NY, NYSolo
1990Joanne FreemanMarc Jancou Gallery, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
1990Auction for Action Act Up New YorkPaula Cooper Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1990Benefit AuctionThe New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY, NYGroup
1989Joanne FreemanBess Cutler Gallery, NY, NYSolo
1989Gallery ArtistsBess Cutler Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1989American PieBess Cutler Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1989UnknownSeibu Department Store, Tokyo, JapanGroup
1988Joanne FreemanThe Queens Museum, Flushing, NYSolo
1988Gold ShowMinor Injury, Brooklyn, NYGroup
1986Joanne FreemanHudson Gallery, NY, NYSolo
1986UnknownHudson Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1985Nite ShowPublic Image Gallery, NYGroup
1985Shifting ViewsB.A.C.A. Downtown, Brooklyn, NYGroup
1985Update 84-85White Columns, NY, NYGroup
1984Joanne FreemanWhite Columns, NY, NYSolo
1984Art Against ApartheidABC No Rio, NY, NYGroup
1984Four ArtistsSoho Center for the Visual Arts, NY NYGroup
1983UnknownChristminster Fine Art, NY, NYGroup
1982HotGracie Mansion Gallery, NY, NYGroup
1981Joanne FreemanJust Above Midtown/Downtown, NY, NYSolo
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