Deborah Freedman is a painter who lives and works in New York City. Her work is deeply informed by nature –especially the Catskill Mountains - and landscape painting of the 19th and early 20th century.
After 9/11 when the Ashokan Reservoir became almost inaccessible and ”threatened” what had been idyllic became “disturbed”. The pictures became less ideal and less about location and more abstract and more emotional.
The titles; Good Night Irene, Praying for Rain, Cold Spring, Disturbed Landscapes and The End of Snow describe these concerns.
“This is landscape as an anatomy lesson; landscape conflated with human form. Landscape which holds the promise of physical pleasure. The abstraction holds the emotional content. If it sounds simplistic, imagine trying to organize a coherent vision of something that does not exist. It mixes the personal with the impersonal, landscape in the guise of familiarity.”
Stewart Waltzer. Artnet.
A partial list of collections include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, Rutgers University, The Department of State, the Library of Congress, IPCNY,The Hess Collection, CITI, Morgan Guarantee Trust, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.
Freedman is a co-founder with Marjorie VanDyke of VanDeb Editions, a printmaking studio dedicated to collaborating with artists to experiment with intaglio and monotype, located in Long Island City, NYC.
Residencies include the MacDowell Colony on a printmaking residency making monoprints using etched plates with highly textured surfaces.
The tradition there is to invite other residents for studio visits or presentations which led to a collaboration with Alan Fletcher, a composer from Massachusetts noticed a consistency in all the pictures that he said was like a “given Melody” in music.
Looking at the prints after many years, she decided to crop them into
10 x 20” sections…. like tablets. Changing the scale transformed the more conventional landscapes into slices of texture and detail that stand on their own. They zoom in on the rocks and water as if one is standing in the water….not observing it from a distance.