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Deportraiture

Recent Paintings by Barbara Friedman

April 20 – June 29, 2014
opening reception: April 19, 6-9PM




Barbara Friedman, Big Collar 1
oil on canvas 60 x 48 in. 2014

Exhibition Catalog (pdf download 4.2 MB)

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4UYjt1Rmd28TUpvTGtqTkxoOU0/edit
Deportraiture catalog (pdf download 4.2 MB)

The “portrait” has been Barbara Friedman’s idiom of choice in recent years, and yet portraiture is only one dimension of what the critic Lilly Wei calls, without exaggeration, a “formally inventive” approach to painting. These are instinctive and erudite paintings, and they summon a formidable range of strategies. Friedman sets up her easel in museums and pretends to copy the old masters, a trope she associates with “lady” painters. Then comes a subtle but unrelenting process of distortion, destruction, and recovery.

Big Portrait of a Dutch Man (after Jacob Backer) oil on linen, 48 x 46 in. 2014

Friedman is a professor at Pace University, a resident of lower Manhattan, and a veteran of the East Village scene. I met Barbara a few years ago when she visited our showroom in Bushwick. Soon after that she became represented at our gallery, and since then she has also showed at Valentine, Studio 10, and Storefront Ten Eyck. Her unearthly portraits have cast a prolonged gaze into this inscrutable demimonde. They are tuned to the habits and the jitters of people who prowl the galleries of Brooklyn and downtown at the present time. And this quality sets them off, distinguishes them as a keen synthesis of painterly and temporal issues.


We are thrilled to be opening Deportraiture on April 19th, a large show of Friedman’s recent work. This show will occupy the front and back rooms of our gallery, it is a thorough display of the work of a painter who has already made a strong showing in Brooklyn. We are honored and proud to host this show, and hope you will join us for the opening.

— Ethan Pettit, 15 April 2014