Art Now Gallery Guide
Preview by Mary Bergstein
April 1994 Boston
Nancy Friese's recent landscapes "Far and Near" are on exhibition at Pepper Gallery through April 23. These on-site paintings and monotypes range from the Dakota Badlands to the gardens and shrines of Japan. Friese's views of the west expand to the distance; the more remote the horizon, the more immediate and vital is the enchantment of the place. In Japan, Friese seeks nature in a radically different setting-the city garden. Here she takes a close view determined by the density and interiority of garden spaces cultivated for spirituality and refuge.
The absence of population is a constant in Friese's work. The human element in the Badlands paintings resides in the beholder, who awakens to brilliant memories of the thrill of nature. We are oddly comforted by the rolling skies, vast intervals of terrain, and the incandescent vibrato of color against color.
In Tokyo, Friese's handling of paint and its chromatic variety quiets the wild, burnt tenor of the Badland's series. A sense of unexpected discovery occurs in meandering pathways excavated from the density of growth; horizon is glimpsed through accidental apertures. The opacity of architecture and evergreen is relieved by wayward ribbons of fronds, brittle blossoms, and views through ancient branches of sky.
Nancy Friese studied at Berkeley and Yale. The recipient of a Giverny Grant an NEA Japan Grant, she has been included in shows at Brandts Klaedefabrik in Denmark, Chrysler Museum, Everson Museum, Herbert Johnson Museum of Art, RISD Museum of Art, and Tokyo Museum of Art.