Wilde Meyer Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
by Linda C. Hults, The College of Wooster
Thursday, March 31,1988
Friese derives her imagery from the streets and yards of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Danbury, Conneticut and other ordinary places. Her subject matter provides a thin layer of domesticity that barely disguises her intensely romantic vision of nature. She invest her undistinguished subjects with excitement by consistently and carefully maintaining tensions between extremes. An apparent spontaneity--Friese's heightened responsiveness to whatever is before her eyes--is masterfully held in control. Tightly interlocking structural elements such as vertical and horizontal lines, cubical and conical volumes, emerge from a context of unabashedly lush color. Friese's handling of color moves from the soft, melting pastels of the horizon and lower sky in Sweet Air-Gary Place to the strident, saturated hues of Talmar Valley. The fabric of her paintings is dense with colors, textures, and sweeping spatial passages that meet each other headlong without compromise or elasticity. The juncture between higher and lower ground to the right of center in Wind and Light is one such area of spatial confrontation. Friese is determined not to let us settle into complacency before nature; she keeps our eyes, minds and emotions moving. Sometimes within the same painting, she evokes moods ranging from threatening, to serene, to ebullient. The dark, dangerous sky of Wind and Light are as much a part of her vision as the spectacularly luminous, spreading yellow tree of Fall Light. Perhaps it is Friese's insistence on a maximum of vitality, conflict and surprise within the ordinary that sustains the visual, intellectual and emotional impact of her landscape imagery.