Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water

David Zwirner is pleased to present new work by American artist Suzan Frecon at the gallery’s 24 Grafton Street location, marking her eighth solo exhibition with the gallery and the first major presentation of her paintings in London. On view will be new large-scale and midsized canvases that elaborate on the artist’s enduring investigation of painting, as well as her richly textured paintings on paper.

Frecon is known for abstract oil paintings and works on paper that—as she notes—‘speak for themselves.’ Made over long stretches of time, her work invites the viewer’s sustained attention: these, she says, ‘are not pictures that you look at. They are paintings that you experience.’1

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1 Suzan Frecon, “text and related work,” in Suzan Frecon: oil paintings and sun. Exh. cat. (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2015), p. 63.

Image: Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York.

Dates
April 12May 28, 2022
Artist
An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Suzan Frecon is known for abstract oil paintings and works on paper that—as she notes—“speak for themselves.” Made over long stretches of time, her work invites the viewer’s sustained attention: these, she says, “are not pictures that you look at. They are paintings that you experience.”

A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled hot, and dark lumiere, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

hot, and dark lumière, 2020
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 inches (222.6 x 274.4 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 inches (222.6 x 137.2 cm)

Frecon’s works are 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 compositions.

A photograph by Julie Brown Harwood of Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York, dated 2015.

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York. Photo by Julie Brown Harwood

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York. Photo by Julie Brown Harwood

An painting by Suzan Frecon, titled incognito, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

incognito, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 1/4 inches (222.6 x 275 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 1/8 inches (222.6 x 137.5 cm)

“Frecon’s art is modular, but subliminally. Moreover, she constructs her ellipsoids so that the area occupied on either side of the central divider is equivalent. This left-right balance works its magic without appearing to be what it is—a secret symmetry within an asymmetrical composition.”

 

 

—Richard Shiff, Suzan Frecon: painting

A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled vermilion mummy, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

vermilion mummy, 2020
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 inches (222.6 x 274.4 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 inches (222.6 x 137.2 cm)
A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled vermilion across, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

untitled c.m. & bright orange composition, 2019
Watercolor on agate-burnished Indian hemp paper
11 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (29.2 x 80 cm)
Framed: 17 1/2 x 37 1/2 inches (44.5 x 95.3 cm)
A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled study from hot and dark lumière, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

study from hot and dark lumière, 2021
Watercolor on agate-burnished old Indian ledger rag paper
12 1/8 x 16 5/8 inches (30.8 x 42.2 cm)
Framed: 18 1/4 x 22 3/4 inches (46.4 x 57.8 cm)

“Her colors, which she grinds and mixes herself, tend toward dark. Rust, blues and greens prevail here with results that seem like nocturnes. The physicality of the work stems from Ms. Frecon’s earthy color sense but also from her subtle yet decisive contrasts of matte and shiny surfaces.”

 

 

—Roberta Smith, The New York Times

An oil on linen painting by Suzan Frecon, titled tessera 2, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

tessera 2, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 108 x 87 1/2 inches (274.3 x 222.3 cm)
Panel, each: 54 x 87 1/2 inches (137.2 x 222.3 cm)
A detail of a painting by Suzan Frecon titled tessera 2, dated 2021

Suzan Frecon, tessera 2, 2021 (detail)

Suzan Frecon, tessera 2, 2021 (detail)

“Besides the deep, lush color, what makes Ms. Frecon’s works compelling is the sumptuous, tactile quality of the paint. Blue areas glow ... as if lighted from behind like stained glass.... Monumental yet tenderly intimate, Ms. Frecon's paintings cast a lingering spell.”

 

 

—Ken Johnson, The New York Times

An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled llibre vermell, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

llibre vermell, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 108 x 87 1/2 inches (274.3 x 222.3 cm)
Panel, each: 54 x 87 1/2 inches (137.2 x 222.3 cm)

Frecon’s continued interest in variations of ongoing compositional motifs is evident in a series of new works from her “cathedral” series. Similar in structure, these works vary profoundly in their individual color combinations, distinct degrees of luminosity, scale, and surface variation.

A detail of a painting by Suzan Frecon titled llibre vermell, dated 2021

Suzan Frecon, llibre vermell, 2021 (detail)

Suzan Frecon, llibre vermell, 2021 (detail)

A photograph by EPW Studio of Suzan Frecon’s studio, in Germantown, New York, dated 2012.

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York. Photo by EPW Studio

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York. Photo by EPW Studio

“I always craved geometric solutions. They underlie so many things: architecture and old paintings that are informed by geometry, like Cimabue, Romanesque cathedrals, churches. You have the structure of the building and then you have the curves of the architecture and then within that you have the painting and within that you have the art.”

 

 

—Suzan Frecon

A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled cant de la sibilla (for Glenn), dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

cant de la sibilla (for Glenn), 2021
Oil on linen
29 3/4 x 24 inches (75.6 x 61 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled siena syrian 2, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

siena syrian 2, 2021
Oil on wood panel
29 5/8 x 24 inches (75.2 x 61 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled byzantine cathedral, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

byzantine cathedral, 2020
Oil on wood panel
29 5/8 x 24 x 1 inches (75.2 x 61 x 2.5 cm)
A photograph of Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York, dated 2022.

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York, 2022

Suzan Frecon’s studio, Germantown, New York, 2022

“Her use of asymmetrical, archlike shapes … tacitly connects to what has been called sacred geometry, which is believed to be capable of revealing the basic structures of reality.… None of this is spelled out, of course. Frecon wants the viewer to have a direct experience with her work.”

 

 

—John Yau, Suzan Frecon

A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled cathedral study with reverse curves, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

cathedral study with reverse curves, 2020
Watercolor on restored old Indian ledger paper
15 7/8 x 12 1/2 inches (40.3 x 31.8 cm)
Framed: 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches (55.3 x 47 cm)
A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled siena cathedral, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

siena cathedral, 2020
Watercolor on agate-burnished Indian hemp paper
22 1/4 x 16 inches (56.5 x 40.6 cm)
Framed: 28 1/4 x 22 inches (71.8 x 55.9 cm)

For her watercolors, the artist employs found Indian hemp and ledger paper, which she burnishes with agate. Each sheet has its own innate character, properties, and irregular shape; its creases, holes, blemishes, and scale become an integral component of the watercolor.

A detail of a painting by Suzan Frecon titled cathedral study with reverse curves, dated 2020

Suzan Frecon, cathedral study with reverse curves, 2020 (detail)

Suzan Frecon, cathedral study with reverse curves, 2020 (detail)

An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

An Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, dated 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

Installation view, Suzan Frecon: recent paintings, oil and water, David Zwirner, London, 2022

“What we encounter in her work is her finely attuned openness, a sense of color unlike anyone else’s. The paintings challenge us as they nourish our senses: Can we let go of words and just look? Can we live in silence long enough to begin seeing what is in front of our eyes? Can we act upon that?”

 

 

—John Yau, Suzan Frecon

Inquire about works by Suzan Frecon

A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled hot, and dark lumiere, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

hot, and dark lumière, 2020
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 inches (222.6 x 274.4 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 inches (222.6 x 137.2 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled vermilion mummy, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

vermilion mummy, 2020
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 inches (222.6 x 274.4 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 inches (222.6 x 137.2 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled bright lantern, medium oil variation 2, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

bright lantern, medium oil variation 2, 2021
Oil on linen
24 x 29 3/4 inches (61 x 75.6 cm)
An painting by Suzan Frecon, titled incognito, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

incognito, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 87 5/8 x 108 1/4 inches (222.6 x 275 cm)
Panel, each: 87 5/8 x 54 1/8 inches (222.6 x 137.5 cm)
A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled from cathedral variations, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

from cathedral variations, 2021
Watercolor on agate-burnished Indian hemp paper
18 1/2 x 15 5/8 inches (47 x 39.7 cm)
Framed: 24 5/8 x 21 3/4 inches (62.5 x 55.3 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled cant de la sibilla (for Glenn), dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

cant de la sibilla (for Glenn), 2021
Oil on linen
29 3/4 x 24 inches (75.6 x 61 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled llibre vermell, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

llibre vermell, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 108 x 87 1/2 inches (274.3 x 222.3 cm)
Panel, each: 54 x 87 1/2 inches (137.2 x 222.3 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled byzantine cathedral, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

byzantine cathedral, 2020
Oil on wood panel
29 5/8 x 24 x 1 inches (75.2 x 61 x 2.5 cm)
A painting by Suzan Frecon, titled siena syrian 2, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

siena syrian 2, 2021
Oil on wood panel
29 5/8 x 24 inches (75.2 x 61 cm)
An oil on linen painting by Suzan Frecon, titled tessera 2, dated 2021.

Suzan Frecon

tessera 2, 2021
Oil on linen
Overall: 108 x 87 1/2 inches (274.3 x 222.3 cm)
Panel, each: 54 x 87 1/2 inches (137.2 x 222.3 cm)
A watercolor on paper by Suzan Frecon, titled cathedral study with reverse curves, dated 2020.

Suzan Frecon

cathedral study with reverse curves, 2020
Watercolor on restored old Indian ledger paper
15 7/8 x 12 1/2 inches (40.3 x 31.8 cm)
Framed: 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches (55.3 x 47 cm)

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          recent paintings, oil and water

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