Reviews

Marley Freeman at Cleopatra’s

New York

Marley Freeman, Bacon, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 13" x 15". MARC TATTI/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND CLEOPATRA’S

Marley Freeman, Bacon, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 13" x 15".

MARC TATTI/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND CLEOPATRA’S

Marley Freeman’s show was bursting with color. Bright, brushy abstractions in pinks, oranges, mint, baby blue, and lemon were layered, filling six canvases edge to edge.

The artist’s earlier experience with textiles and the decorative arts was especially evident in the way she quilted together patches of color in the paintings.

One of the smaller canvases on view, Bacon (2015), creates a dynamic, even enigmatic composition by means of just three thick strokes sweeping across a bloodred canvas on a diagonal with a slight curve. A vibrant pink band crosses and connects the thicker marks. Resembling a tempting, fatty slice of bacon, it adheres to the horizontal wavy strips and seems to jump off the canvas.

The four smaller paintings contained magnifications, or selections, from two of the larger works. Freeman’s energetic mark-making on these canvases played in lively counterpoint to the quiet sculptures arranged strategically on the floor.

In the far back corner of the gallery, suggesting a Zen garden, was a grouping of “Blocks” huddled together. The ceramic pieces (none bigger than an ice cube) featured earth-tone glazes and were assembled in a loose circle. As stacked, they called to mind prehistoric monuments, like Stonehenge, as well as a child’s collection of precious stones from a day at the beach.

A version of this story originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 95.

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