Parts of a World
The poet Frank O’ Hara wrote, in “Interior (with Jane)”: “The eagerness of objects to / be what we are afraid to do / cannot help but move us.” It was one of many poems inspired by Jane Freilicher. Looking at the still lives on view at Kasmin, it’s hard not to be so moved. “Parts of a World,” the late artist’s second solo show at the gallery—as well as the first show there to focus on her still lives—features fifteen paintings created between the 1950s and the early 2000s.
That’s if you could even call them “still lives.” The city—whether yawning through an open window or resting beyond its glass, as seen from Freilicher’s West Village apartment—makes for an undeniably vibrant presence across these canvases. The paintings also feature what the artist described as the opulent beauty of the homespun environment: dishes, oysters, pink-bellied fish, and her favorite subject, plants, spilling from ruched tablecloths. These objects at once seem almost in motion, blurred and lively like a quick flicked glance over a sumptuous spread. It’s no wonder that The Painting Table (1954) [pictured] was previously held in the poet John Ashbery’s collection. Her works share as much kinship with poetry as she did with poets, from the lyrical juxtapositions between forms to the surprising and beautiful compositions composed out of ostensibly ordinary things.
Jane Freilicher, The Painting Table, 1954. Oil on linen, 26 x 40 inches.