Jane Freilicher in Chicago

Jane Freilicher, Flowers in Armchair, oil on linen, 1956, 30 x 29 inches (courte
Jane Freilicher, Flowers in Armchair, oil on linen, 1956, 30 x 29 inches (courtesy of Valerie Carberry Gallery)

Chris Miller reviews Jane Freilicher: Paintings at Valerie Carberry Gallery (through March 15) and Jane Freilicher: A Painter Among Poets at The Poetry Foundation, Chicago (through February 21).

Miller quotes Freilicher: "To strain after innovation, to worry about being ‘on the cutting edge’—a phrase I hate—reflects concern for a place in history or for one’s career rather than for the authenticity of one’s own painting." Miller adds "[Freilicher] would stubbornly pursue her own quiet 'tentativeness' (as the poet and art critic John Ashbery once put it) ... and pursue a more conventional upper middle class lifestyle. The elegance but also the isolation of that life emerges ... you can feel Freilicher move from excitement ... to refinement ... as she ages and hones her domestic ideals with still-lifes and landscapes. It’s a very ordinary world, but it’s been keenly and freshly felt with the optical and expressive qualities that Hans Hoffman encouraged his students to discover."