Born 1941 in Mexico, Pennsylvania
Lives and Works in New York, New York
For more than four decades, Suzan Frecon has produced abstract works that reveal a deep reverence for the practice of painting. Frecon carefully plans her images, first deciding on the dimensions of the work and the paint colors to be used (often grinding her own pigments to achieve the desired effect). She then figures out the precise imagery in sketches, using geometric formulas as well as her own visual intuition to create related forms in which dissonant features are suspended in balance.
In embodiment of red (soforouge), two heaving shapes, painted in earth red hues that vary in tone and luster, seem to dissolve into the background and assert their materiality through strong contours. The figure-ground relationships in each panel derive from the canvas size: in the top panel, the rounded form’s width is identical to the panel’s height, while the curved form of the bottom panel connects two of its corners.
Frecon’s abstract forms may invite associative leaps to architectural or art historical references—she has cited her interest in varied art historical sources such as the Chartres Cathedral, Minoan labyrinths, Byzantine painting, and Pomo baskets—but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.
Read About the Artist
—Art in America (September 2008)