University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Catalogue Essay by Maura Coughlin
March 17 to April 12, 2003
The long roiling waters of Nancy Friese's River Aven (2000) cat. 7 unfurl before the eye. This three-color woodcut with chine colle' combines three views of the river that runs through the famous artist colony of Pont Aven. Subjectively responding to a landscape that would be evocative even without its prior celebration in the works of Emile Bernard, Paul Gauguin and many others. Friese brings a contemporary eye to this specific place. Like many New England artists before her, Friese (who is Dean of Graduate Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design) has often worked abroad, at residencies in Japan and at Monet's home in Giverny, in addition to Pont Aven. Bringing together an emotive, intuitive use of color and a strong sense of pattern and compositional intensity, her use of the woodcut to evoke the character of the landscape can be connected to both Blanche Lazzell's fauvist white line prints and Clare Leighton's masterful graphic compositions.