Freeman’s paintings are abstract, but the works also contain elliptical evocations of ideas and possibilities beyond themselves. Their synthesis of high- and low-tech methodology and their combination of structure and disorder, hard and soft focus, suggest that comprehension and knowledge are inconstant and unstable.
As the artist states: “You can be forgiven for confusing which side of culture or counter-culture you sit. Current technology will afford safe passage, whichever path you desire, knowingly or otherwise. Seeing is no longer believing.”
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of watching the metamorphosis of painter, Marc Freeman over the past few years. And what a fantastic unfurling of fabulousness it has been. We chat for a bit about his penchant for quality linen which he hand-stretches over the frames in preparation for ideas ripe for exploration.
After completing a coveted Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, at Red Gate in Beijing, Freeman has been busy exhibiting work at SCOPE NY Art Fair as well as a finalist in the recently published Thames & Hudson tome, 100 Painters of Tomorrow and was lucky enough to enjoy attending openings in both London and New York.
Fast forward a few years, happily married to architect, Lauren Zmood – they decide to make a bold and strategic move to sink their teeth into a bite of the big apple and set up family digs in Brooklyn accompanied by their two young children. In order to best penetrate the marketplace as one of opportunity given NYC’s recent love affair with all things Australian again, the timing couldn’t be better aligned for Freeman to stretch his wings.
Cloudbuster #4, 2018
canvas, acrylic, enamel and digital-print on linen
80 x 65.5cm
Collection of abstract paint and collage works, find their resonance in technique and recurrence. Revelling in repetitions of materials, processes and motifs, scrubbed, washed and faded oils are reconfigured and recast, echoed in various collaged forms; swathes of canvas from larger pieces appear throughout the works on paper in a fascination inversion of materials. With time, hints of figuration and gesture emerge – a skull-like shape seems of particular interest to Freeman – only to drift back into abstraction.
It’s a quality that permeates his canvases on several planes, evident in the treatment of the the painted surface. Sponged and rubbed, it might usually invoke a weathered ambience, but his arresting use of collage gives his work a striking sensibility. I am left grasping at hints and clues. Freeman tests and defies his own bounds with every stroke, scrub, cut and layer.
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