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Suzan Frecon: paper Feb 13 - Mar 23, 2013
Opening reception: Wednesday, February 13, 6 – 8 PM
David Zwirner is pleased to present an
exhibition of recent watercolors by Suzan
Frecon, on view at the gallery’s 525 West
19th Street space. This will be the artist’s
second solo show with the gallery.
For the past four decades, Suzan Frecon
has become known for her abstract oil
paintings and watercolors that are at once
reductive and expressive. Each of her
works is the result of a deliberative and
searching process in the mediums of oil paint and watercolor paint, in tandem with graphite sketches and notes.
All are part of the same unity, and new works often evolve from previous works. Frecon adamantly tries to avoid
recognizable pictorial associations or symbolic explanations. Her intent is that if the work can be freed from a
fixed idea or illustrative accompanying explanation, its reality can exist solely on its strength as art, in its highest
possible form of abstraction. As she has stated, “The physical reality and the spiritual content of my paintings are
This exhibition consists of over forty watercolors. Each provides an arresting autonomy that focuses attention
onto the unique interaction of paper and paint; as a group, the works form subtle relationships to one another
and bring forward issues of horizontality and verticality, recurring shapes, and interacting arrangements of color.
Frecon has noted that the “ground for my watercolors is usually agate-burnished old Indian ledger paper,
simply because I like the way it takes the paint.” Each leaf of paper has its own innate character, due to creases,
holes, blemishes, and even faint writings. The sizes of the sheets vary irregularly and impose their own dynamic
constraints on the compositions. The development of the artist’s oil paintings, to the contrary, starts with the
very deliberately determined measurements of the support, whose outside edges and material characteristics
(whether paper or stretched linen) generate the compositions that provide the bedrock for the resulting paintings.
Otherwise, the elements and criteria of the work are much the same; pigment color and property, paint binder
of oil or gum arabic, form or composition, and asymmetrical balances, dissonances, and harmonies. All together
they contribute to the experience of Frecon’s works.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated artist book published by David Zwirner and Radius Books
with Lawrence Markey. A concurrent show of watercolors will be presented at Lawrence Markey in San Antonio,
Texas, on view from February 22 to March 29, 2013.
Suzan Frecon was born in Mexico, Pennsylvania. Following a degree in Fine Arts at Pennsylvania State University
in 1963, she spent three years at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 2008, Frecon’s work was
the subject of a major solo exhibition at The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, form, color, illumination: Suzan
Frecon painting, which traveled to the Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland. She was included in the 2010 Whitney
Biennial, and her works are represented in the permanent collections of prominent institutions, including the
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; The Menil
Collection, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She lives and works in New York.
For all press inquiries, please contact
Kim Donica at David Zwirner 212-727-2070 firstname.lastname@example.org