abstract art

Suzan Frecon

United States 1941

Abstract Art

Suzan Frecon
Suzan Frecon
United States
February 23, 2015

Suzan Frecon is an American artist, internationally known for abstract oil paintings and watercolors that are at once reductive and expressive, and critically acclaimed for sensitive arrangement of color, form, and texture.

Frecon was born in 1941 in Mexico, Pennsylvania. Following a degree in fine arts from the Pennsylvania State University in 1963, she spent three years at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris.

For the past four decades, Frecon has become known for abstract oil paintings and watercolors that avoid facile explanations or recognizable visual associations. Her abstract forms may invite associative leaps to architectural or art historical references, as she has cited her interest in varied art historical sources such as the Chartres Cathedral, Minoan labyrinths, Byzantine painting, and Pomo baskets, but ultimately, the works remain non-referential.

Instead, composition works with color, with surface, and with light to create an abstract visual reality that she intends to exist solely on its strength as art. In a deliberative and searching process, she works toward painting that provides a complex, powerful, and inexplicable experience for the viewer. As she has stated, ‘The physical reality and the spiritual content of my paintings are the same.’ The changeable and creative relations of sunlight to color, material, surface, and composition is integral to the painting as ongoing visual experience, capable of being seen in maximum possible dimensions.

Each work is the result of a thoughtful, laborious process in which the artist sketches and revises a composition, usually evolved from previous works. From color, Frecon builds a composition rooted in geometric and volumetric proportions and precisely defined spatial relationships that incorporate asymmetry as a generatively unpredictable visual element. However, at times she will also develop color and composition together, varying colors and surfaces to achieve often great contrasts of immediacy and radiance.

She derives her color palette from pigments ground in oil, particularly earth reds, the resonant vocabulary of which she explores in shifting degrees of matte and sheen, surface and depth, positive and negative. Her almost tactile use of color heightens the visual experience of her work, and depending on the light source and viewing angle, different perceptions emerge.

Frecon has exhibited widely in the United States and internationally. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions such as the 2000 and 2010 Whitney Biennial. Permanent collections which hold works by the artist include The Art Institute of Chicago, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Suzan Frecon lives and works in New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2015Oil Paintings And SunDavid Zwirner, New YorkSolo
2014Ruth Laskey & Suzan FreconRatio 3, San FranciscoSolo
2013Suzan FreconGalerie Greta Meert, BrusselsSolo
2013PaperDavid Zwirner, New York Solo
2013PaperLawrence Markey, San Antonio, TexasSolo
2012Accrochage XGalerie Greta Meert, BrusselsGroup
2011Abstract NowBerkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CaliforniaGroup
2010Recent paintingDavid Zwirner, New YorkSolo
201040Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas Group
2010The Whitney BiennialWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
2010Earth Paint Paper Wood: Recent AcquisitionsThe Menil Collection, Houston, TexasGroup
2010The Shape of AbstractionBoston University Art GalleryGroup
2009CoreBetty Cuningham Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009Galaxy: A Hundred or So Stars Visible to the Naked EyeBerkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CaliforniaGroup
2008Form, color, illumination: Suzan Frecon paintingThe Menil Collection, Houston, TexasSolo
2007Recent paintingLawrence Markey, San Antonio, TexasSolo
2007Touch-downGalerie Friedrich, BaselGroup
2006Watercolors – Works on Paper from the Collection of Drawings and PrintsKunstmuseum Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
2006Getting It Right: The Intuitive Translation of Form in Contemporary AbstractionOSP Gallery, BostonGroup
2006Twice Drawn: Modern and Contemporary Drawings in ContextThe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New YorkGroup
2005PaintingsPeter Blum, New YorkSolo
2004Recent WatercolorsLawrence Markey, New YorkSolo
2004The Art of the DefiniteDC Moore Gallery, New YorkGroup
2004Raoul De Keyser, Suzan Frecon, Mel Kendrick, Uwe Kowski, Thomas NozkowskiGorney Bravin + Lee, New YorkGroup
2003PaintingsLawrence Markey, New YorkSolo
2003Works on Paper: James Bishop, Suzan Frecon, Richard Tuttle, Acharya Vyakul, and Jerry ZeniukLawrence Markey, New YorkGroup
2002Drawing paintingThe Drawing Center, New YorkSolo
2002Drawings of Choice from a New York CollectionKrannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois Group
2002Drawings of Choice from a New York CollectionArkansas Art Center, Little Rock, ArkansasGroup
2002Drawings of Choice from a New York CollectionGeorgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GeorgiaGroup
2002Drawings of Choice from a New York CollectionThe Bowdin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MaineGroup
2002Drawings of Choice from a New York CollectionCincinnati Art Museum, OhioGroup
2002The Fall Line: Intuition and Necessity in Contemporary Abstract DrawingOSP Gallery, BostonGroup
2002WatercolorNew York Studio SchoolGroup
2001PaintingsLawrence Markey, New York Solo
2001Paper and Salt: Marlene Dumas, Suzan Frecon, Britta Huttenlocher, Henri Jacobs, and Antonietta PeetersGalerie Paul Andriesse, AmsterdamGroup
2000Suzan FreconGalerie Friedrich, Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
2000Collecting Drawings, Not Artists: Gifts from the Collection of Sarah-Ann and Werner H. KramarskyFogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MassachusettsGroup
2000On Paper: Drawings by Werner Buttner, Suzan Frecon, Christine Hohenbuchler, Irene Hohenbuchler, Katie Holten, Mirjam Oosterbaan, Susan TigerGalerie Paul Andriesse, AmsterdamGroup
2000The Whitney Biennial 2000Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1999Recent work: Oil and WatercolorLawrence Markey, New York Solo
1999Terre Rouge, PaintingsGalerie Philippe Casini, ParisSolo
1999Works on Paper: Suzan FreconGalerie Franck + Schulte, BerlinSolo
1998The Form Carries the Purpose of IlluminationHäusler Kunst Projekte, MunichSolo
1998Works on PaperGalerij S65, Aalst, Belgium Solo
1998Recent WatercolorsHirschl & Adler Modern, New YorkSolo
1998Presence of SpiritDiözesanmuseum, Freising, GermanyGroup
1998Presence of SpiritEhemalige Karmelitenkirche, MunichGroup
1998Presence of SpiritHeilig-Geist-Kirche, Landshut, GermanyGroup
1998Paper ThinStephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco Group
1998Suzan Frecon, Rachel Harrison, Thomas NozkowskiTurner & Runyon Gallery, Dallas, TexasGroup
1998Undercurrents and Overtones: Contemporary Abstract PaintingOliver Art Center, CaliforniaGroup
1998Group ShowCollege for the Arts, Oakland, California Group
1997Rethinking GeometryLobby Gallery, Merrill Lynch Financial Center, New YorkGroup
1996Recent PaintingLawrence Markey, New YorkSolo
1995Suzan FreconGalerie Franck + Schulte, Berlin Solo
1995Suzan FreconGalerie Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe, GermanySolo
1994Works Relating to Painting, 1988–1994University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CaliforniaSolo
1994ZeitgenostKunstmuseum Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
1994Reflex: The NinetiesVienna SecessionGroup
1994Contemporaries: Paintings, Sculptures, Installations, and Works on Paper from the Collections of the KunstmuseumKunstmuseum Bern, SwitzerlandGroup
1994Group ShowNina Freudenheim Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkGroup
1993PaintingHirschl & Adler Modern, New York Solo
1993PaintingLawrence Markey, New YorkSolo
1993Suzan FreconGalerie Friedrich, Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
1993Other Countries, Other Customs: Drawings from the Kunstmuseum BernPalais Kinsky, PragueGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sKatonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New YorkGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sFine Art Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington, IndianaGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sIllingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, CanadaGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sHuntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AlabamaGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sWorcester Art Museum, Worcester, MassachusettsGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sLamont Gallery, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New HampshireGroup
1992–1994Drawn in the ’90sUniversity Art Gallery, San Diego State University, San Diego, CaliforniaGroup
1992Paintings: Suzan FreconGalerie Franck + Schulte, Berlin Solo
1992Paintings and DrawingsGalerie L’A, Liege, BelgiumSolo
1992WatercolorsLawrence Markey, New YorkSolo
1990PassagesARG Art Prospective Gèneve, Geneva Solo
1990Suzan Frecon and Vaclav Pozarek: Works on PaperKunstmuseum Bern, SwitzerlandSolo
1990DrawingGalerie Friedrich, Bern, SwitzerlandGroup
1989Matrix-Berkeley 121: Suzan FreconUniversity Art Museum, Berkeley, CaliforniaSolo
1989Suzan FreconEmily Sorkin Gallery, New York Solo
1989Suzan FreconJulian Pretto and Berland-Hall Gallery, New YorkSolo
1989Painting and Work on PaperLorence Monk Gallery, New YorkGroup
1989Prospect ’89: An International Exhibition of Contemporary ArtFrankfurter Kunstverein and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt Group
1988Suzan FreconJulian Pretto Gallery, New YorkSolo
1988Group ShowJulian Pretto Gallery, New YorkGroup
1987Suzan FreconC-Space, New YorkSolo
1986Suzan FreconKunsthalle Bern, Switzerland Solo
1984Suzan FreconJack Tilton Gallery, New YorkSolo
1984Suzan FreconThe Parallel Window, New YorkSolo
1982New Drawing in America: An Exhibition to Celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of the Drawing CenterThe Drawing Center, New YorkGroup
1981Suzan FreconJohn Davis Gallery, Akron, OhioSolo
1980PaintingsJohn Davis Gallery, Akron, OhioSolo
1979International Multi-media ExhibitionUniversity of São Paulo Group
1979On PaperGrace Borgenicht Gallery, New YorkGroup
1978First Anniversary ExhibitionThe Drawing Center, New YorkGroup
1974Suzan Frecon and Michel DurandThe Longwood Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, BostonSolo
1973Group ShowCircuit Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, BostonGroup
1973Group ShowThayer Gallery, Thayer Academy, Braintree, MassachusettsGroup
1973Group ShowWorcester Art Museum, Worcester, MassachusettsGroup