The paintings by Eric Freeman are ephemeral. While we understand that these works are fastened to the canvas, that the paint is permanent once dried, there is an ever-evolving quality to their surface—one seems to not only respond emotionally, but the paintings themselves react optically to the colors and light around them. Stripped of narrative and void of external references, what remains is pure and intense color.
In an age where artists are constantly exploring new mediums and trying to break away from what has already been done, Eric Freeman finds his mode of expression by pushing through the traditional medium of oil on canvas. He has continued to energize his own practice and the fundamentals of being a painter by experimenting with the combination of elements in the build up of oil paint. Fascinated with the qualities that make up a color, he started exploring with iridescent pigments, raising the depth of each color at hand, and adding just the right amounts of various oils, before applying the new blend to the canvas in confident and graceful brushstrokes. Freeman applies layer upon layer, thinning them out intermittently – a process through which he creates different surfaces for light refraction to occur at various speeds, allowing the light to actually bounce between each layer resulting in a backlit quality. Painter David Salle referenced an “illusive immateriality” to Freeman’s work, noting: “Where does the energy in these pictures come from? What does Freeman want us to feel? A sense of giving over to it; the thrill of the roller coaster gives way to something more internal. Accept the sheer physical/optical fact, these paintings seem to say, because that’s what painting is.”
Eric Freeman earned his B.F.A. from Tufts University in 1993. He had solo exhibitions at several galleries all over the world and his work is part of major permanent art collections like the Frederic R. Weisman Art Foundation, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Saatchi Gallery as well as the Parish Art Museum in New York.
Eric Freeman (*1970 in Brooklyn, New York) lives and works in Sagaponack, New York.