Jane Freilicher

(b. 1924)

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(1924– ).

Painter and printmaker. Her landscapes, cityscapes, and still lifes respond emotionally to visual motifs while also emphasizing color, sensual pleasure in paint, and respect for constraints of the pictorial surface. Born Jane Niederhoffer in Brooklyn, she graduated from Brooklyn College in 1947 and earned a master's degree from Columbia University the following year. As well, she studied in New York and Provincetown with Hans Hofmann, who guided development of her early abstract expressionist work. A large 1948 Museum of Modern Art retrospective of Pierre Bonnard's work stimulated much in her work during the next few years as it evolved toward a softly brushed, meditative lyric. Married at seventeen to jazz pianist Jack Freilicher, she parted ways with him after about five years, but through him she met Larry Rivers, who became her companion into the early 1950s. During these formative years she also established lasting friendships with John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and other important literary figures with whom she later occasionally collaborated. From 1952 she maintained a close and, in artistic terms, mutually beneficial friendship with Fairfield Porter. In 1957 she married her partner of the previous several years, Joseph Hazan, previously a dancer, then a businessman, and later a painter. That summer she began dividing her time between New York and Water Mill, on eastern Long Island. Both localities figure prominently among subsequent subjects. Ever aware of the tension between perceived image and artistic process, she has practiced a sharp-eyed and fluent style balancing the intensity of the moment against a sober assessment of its transitory nature. A number of her most appealing images juxtapose a foreground floral still life against marshy vistas near her Long Island home or the urban geometry observed from her high-rise residence on lower Fifth Avenue. Embracing intaglio processes, as well as woodcut and lithography, her print work also indulges her feeling for color.

Subjects: Art.

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