Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jane Freilicher (1924 - 2014)

Painter and muse Jane Freilicher passed away on December 9, 2014.
She was and will continue to be an inspiration. 
She will be missed.
Jane Freilicher (in film star pose)
Water Mill, NY 1958
photo by John Jonas Gruen via
Study in Blue and Gray, 2011
oil on linen 24" x 24"
via Tibor de Nagy
Frank O’Hara, 1951
oil on linen, 65 × 23 inches. Collection of J. Philip O’Hara, Providence, Rhode Island,
and Ariel Follett O’Hara, Deerfield, Illinois. via

Freilicher was friend and muse to poets of the New York School, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler - to whom she was muse confidante, beloved brain. "One doesn't stay friends with somebody for 40 years unless they have a lot of nice qualities, such as brilliance, "Mr Ashbery wrote two decades ago. "Jane Freilicher is also the wittiest person I have ever known." -  via Gina Bellafante, NYT
Twelfth Street and Beyond, 1976
oil on linen 50" x 60"
photo courtesy of Tibor de Nagy gallery via

Looking Forward to See Jane Real Soon
May drew in its breath and smelled June’s roses
when Jane put roses on the sill.  The sky,
in blue for elms, planted its lightest kiss,
the kind called a butterfly, on bricks fresh
from their kiln as the roses from their bush.
Summer went by in green, then two new leaves
stood on the avocado stem.  The sky
darkened the color of Jane’s eyes and snow
wrote her name in white.  Such wet snow, that stuck
to the underside of curled iron and stone.
Jane, among fresh lilacs in her room, watched
December, in brown with furs, turn on lights
until the city trembled like a tree
in which wind moves.  And it was all for her.
James Schuyler 1955 via 
Jane Freilicher and her husband Joe Hazan
Standing on the rail of their deck in Water Mill in the early 1960s
photo via courtesy of Elizabeth Hazan
Freilicher had the rare ability to combine the genres of still life, landscape and portraiture.
Farm Scene, 1963
Tibor de Nagy via
Mallows, 1997 image via
By those who worked with her, Ms. Freilicher was often described as generous, low-maintenance and modest. Eric Brown, co-owner of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in Manhattan, which represented the artist for the majority of her career, first met her in her Manhattan studio when he was a mere college student, he recalled last week during a telephone interview. He was staring at a freshly painted landscape of mallow flowers set against a clear blue Long Island sky, when a voice startled him from behind.

"Do you think it need a cloud"

"I was stunned by the question, and amazed. I'd never met an artist like her," Mr. Brown said. "She possessed a unique combination of total lack of pomposity, supreme confidence and generosity - the generosity of caring what a 23-year-old kid thought. She was a completely intuitive and brilliant artist. " via Alyssa Melillo 27East.

Self Portrait in a Mirror, 1971
image via
The Sun Breaks Through, 1991
image via
Jane Freilicher in her Water Mill Studio
JPhotograph © 2011 Jonathan Becker via
Backgammon, 1976
oil on canvas 38" x 44 1/8"
via Utah Museum of Fine Arts 
Jane Freilicher in her NYC studio, 1984
photo by Nancy Crampton via
A Jar of Forsythia, 1990
image via
Early New York Evening, 1954
oil on linen 51 1/2 x 31 3/4
via Tibor de Nagy
A planned 90th birthday celebration suddenly became a memorial to Freilicher's life. A long lost 1953 film "Presenting Jane" was shown, with the startling image of Jane appearing to walk on water. The last person to speak at the event was poet John Ashbery who said, "Her work is rich in meanings that continue to resonate with us even after we have moved on and are thinking of something else." via
Jane Freilicher is survived by her daughter, also an artist,  Elizabeth Hazan, son-in-law Stephen Hicks and three grandchildren, Lucian, Katherine and Benjamin. 
My condolences on your great loss.
Light Blue Above, 2003
image via
Generosity of Everyday Surrealism, Jane Freilicher's Friends Celebrate her Life and Art - New York Times
Jane Freilicher, 90, A Lyrical Painter of Long Island Landscapes is Dead - New York Times
Jane Freilicher, "A Poet's Painter" - Art in America
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 - Poetry Foundation
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 - The Paris Review
Jane Freilicher, 1924 - 2014 and the Poets of the New York School - Locus Solus Andrew Epstein
Jane Freilicher, A Painter and Great Wit, Dead at 90 - East Hampton Star
Jane Freilicher, 90, Shaped Long Island Landscapes - 27East
Jane Freilicher, Painter Among Poets - Tibor de Nagy
Leave it to Jane by John Ashbery - Poetry Foundation
John Ashbery on Jane Freilicher - Art in America
Leave it to Jane by John Ashbery - Poetry Foundation
Explicit as a Star - Poetry Foundation
All of the works depicted are by Jane Freilicher with source links.
Nasturtiums and Petunias, 2003
oil on linen 36" x 30" via
In memoriam
Jane Freilicher November 29, 1924 - December 9, 2014

1 comment:

  1. A lovely tribute gail.She sounds like she was a wonderful person.
    Her talent evident.


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