Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
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Text courtesy of Reynold’s Gallery

The exhibition title, Strings, signifies Freed’s exploration of the word “string” as a line, thread, instrument, collection of beads or crimes, or kind of particle theory. It transcends a simple definition, engaging architecture, music, science, and art, a concept which Freed emphasizes in his mark making as one line extends into many marks, a shape, a form, a season. Unlike his earlier works on delicate Italian and Japanese papers, in Strings, Freed adapts his practice to using a new, more durable paper called Khadi. The handmade Indian paper withstands the physicality of Freed’s process, as he layers etching, relief, woodcut, watercolor, pastel, and collage. These expressive, experimental gestures not only instill a palpable energy in the work, but also convey Freed’s exploration in color. Sharp reddish marks mingle alongside watery earth tones as loose, natural forms emerge.

Although bluntly saturated, these compositions radiate a subtlety and sincerity as Freed captures sweeping breezes and transitioning weather. His subject matter traverses the east coast landscape, stemming from his travels throughout Virginia, Maine, and The Dominican Republic. By directly observing nature, his marks serve as an immediate response to nature’s unpredictability and imperfections. In this exhibition, Freed composes both large, rectangular mixed media etchings alongside small scale studies, adapting a dynamic perspective which reflects an intimate link to his subject.  

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