THE ENEMY OF AVERAGE

Tuesday Art ATTACK- Frederick Frieseke "Nude in Dappled Sunlight"

Christian Franzen

Posted on July 14 2015


By Christian Franzen

Frederick Frieseke was born in Owosso, Michigan on April 7th 1874. Frederick's mother Eva died when he was only six; consequently he and his father moved to Jacksonville Florida where his father began a brick manufacturing businesses. The death of Frederick's mother caused him to alienate himself in school and other social settings so instead of taking interest in team sports at a young age he developed a love of the arts. His family urged him to pursue his artistic passions at a young age and took Frederick to the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition in Chicago which fully inspired him to pursue the life of an artist. 

Frederick graduated Owosso High School in 1893 and continued his education at the Art Institute of Chicago. Finishing at the Art Institute he decided to move to New York to further his education at the Arts Student League. During his years in New York he worked for the New York Times as a cartoonist to get himself through school. 

In 1898 Frederick moved to France where he would reside for the remainder of his life. He Studied painting at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jean- Paul Laurens while also studying at there Académie Carmen. Despite all of Frederick's formal education he still referred to himself as a self taught artist feeling that he learned more in his independent study than in his schooling. 

In 1899 his work was exhibited in the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Frederick's time spent in France is very visible in his art. Before moving to France the artist used a much more conservative palet. During his years at the French Académie his work hit a new direction in composition and after his schooling Frederick spent a lot of time living within Impressionist artist colonies which totally radicalized his palette with new vibrant colors. Despite being labeled as an impressionist many of Frederick's paintings bridge the gap between impressionism and post impressionism or "decorative impressions". Influences of Bonnard and Gauguin are extremely apparent in Frederick's use of color, space, and pattern. Frederick became obsessed with rendering sunlight and shadow as well as the female nude. He began to exclusively paint female nudes preferably outside in condition with stimulating lighting. 

Perhaps one of his greatest achievements was when he left the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1923 and co-founded the Salon des Tuileries. He continued to paint into his old age living in Northern France and died in his Normandy home on August 24th 1939.

Cherry Blossoms (1913)

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