Douglass Freed

Artist Statement

For nearly twenty years, I made non-objective grid structured paintings. I started to see references to landscape in these works. I've literalized those references by painting oil landscape vistas of horizons, clouds and bodies of water. These paintings consist of two or more vertical panels. Usually one panel is landscape imagery. The adjacent panels are often atmospheric voids with vestiges of recognizable landscapes.

I try to capture the mystical light found in natural atmospheric effects: the haze in the distance on humid summer days, the overcast gloom of winter skies, and the softness of landscape bathed in fog, and the quieting mood of approaching darkness. My intent is to create paintings imbued with a meditative, spiritual presence suggesting issues about time and ecology. I do this by softly modulating color, tone and value. The color varies from quiet, monochromatic works to fully orchestrated chromatic ones. By blending from one hue to another I create color which makes its self gradually felt, weeping forth. In this manner, I create illusions of mysterious emanations of light, places where ones eyes and spirit are invited to linger.

My roots lie in tonalism, color field painting and minimalism. However, my work contains an ever-present awareness of the dramatic use of light of the post-renaissance chiaroscurists. It combines a classical awareness of structure with a romantic use of color always in combination with a unique sense of ambiguity.

My work continues in its evolution of style the search for an abstract means of probing the ambiguities of physical and spiritual experience of light, and its power to foster a more intense life of the spirit through profound emotional experience of form, color and composition.