Jersey City Museum
Jersey City, NJ
by Norman Turner, artist, author and curator
Nancy Friese depends on painting at the site to formulate her ideas for a painting, but she is not, strictly speaking, a perceptual painter. Rather than dealing with how her gaze travels out from herself and through the space of the site, she freely gathers suggestions from the site to invent a deliberately contrived composition. Friese is especially interested in how a variety of consciously designed marks, orchestrated to complement and contrast with each other, can form a visual vocabulary in which each kind of makr denotes qualities of texture, movement, and light. She likes to paint turbulent skies, as they offer an endless procession of changing forms for her to invent from. The curiosity is that while she is indifferent to specifying her direct perception of the site, she does respond to it, gain visual sustenance from it, and ends up evoking it obliquely: Flatbrook is strongly suggestive of fall in the Delaware Valley.