Rich color and dynamic shapes, smooth abstracts with jagged edges, quiet colors next to vibrant ones–that is the initial experience when looking at a painting by Lynne Friedman.
Lynne Friedman is an establish painter whose work is on display in many corporate collections including Pfizer, McGraw Hill, IBM, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Pace University and Ritz Carleton Hotels among others. She also received seven artist residency grants to work in Spain, Costa Rica, Ireland, Southern France and New Mexico. Lynne received a BA and MFA from Queens College studying with John Ferren and Esteban Vincente. She also studied at NY Studio School with Nicholas Carone. Currently, her studio is in Cottekill, NY. Recently, Lynne spoke with the Examiner about her experiences and artistic process:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Lynne Friedman (L.F.): I have always been a visual person – even in early childhood, patterns and prints would mesmerize me. I recall winning the Brotherhood Theme Painting Contest in the sixth grade and receiving an award from Jackie Robinson. My sports friends enjoy this story! I remember going to the opening of the Guggenheim Museum when it first opened and never wanted to be anything else but an artist.
M.M.: Growing up, which artists and styles interested you?
L.F.: I recall art classes in high school and seeing images by Van Gogh, Derain and Gauguin. I was totally in love with their work. My earlier involvement was in contemporary landscape and has developed into an obsession with abstraction.
M.M.: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
L.F.: My work is a series of coherent images connected by a formal exploration of geometric form. The content is a sum of organized tensions. Reality lies in the dynamic relation of forms to one another, rather than in the forms themselves as objects that are fixed and inert. The work is based upon an amalgam of transformative experiences in New Mexico, the Southwest, foreign travel and amorphous experiences then developed in my NY studio. I feel I am mainly a colorist and use color to convey nuances of meaning. I feel closure when a painting doesn’t look like it has a beginning or end.
M.M.: How did you go about getting your work shown publicly?
L.F.: I was in a NYC cooperative gallery for around ten years and since that time have worked with corporate art dealers and galleries. I also send out proposals for solo exhibits to venues of interest to me.
M.M.: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
L.F.: My favorite paintings change. Usually my favorite painting is a recent piece I am particularly excited by, but as time passes I find the “next” painting is usually the one I am most involved with.
M.M.: Are there any mediums and/or styles that you haven’t worked with yet but hope to soon?
L.F.: Although my medium is oil, I’ve been using acrylic for underpaintings lately and I’d like to do more work with gouache when I travel.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving being an artist?
L.F.: The US Department of State – Art in Embassies chose three of my paintings to be in US Embassies around the world. I was really pleased to receive the catalog from the Embassy in Colombo, Sir Lanka and see my work there. Also, a painting was enlarged to 22 feet x55 feet digitally and placed on an oil tank on the Hudson River so it was viewed by sailing vessels entering and leaving the harbor at Kingston, NY.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
L.F.: Be passionate about your work and don’t give up. Have a second job so you can make it through and become business savvy if you want to gain income. Look at a lot of art and learn from what you see. Basically keep painting/sculpting/experimenting. Learning never ends.
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
L.F.: I have a solo show “Degrees of Abstraction” at LaGuardia Community College-CUNY in the Atrium Lobby Gallery East Sept 26-Nov 24, 2015 ( #7 train to 33rd St/Rawson). The hours are Monday thru Saturday 8am to 10pm. I also have another small exhibit at Oriole in Woodstock, NY in October.
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To learn more about Lynne Friedman visit her official website, Instagram and Facebook.