Show Preview | Britt Freda & Siri Hollander

Santa Fe, NM
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, July 25-August 10

Britt Freda, Spotted Owl, acrylic/graphite, 12 x 12.

Britt Freda, Spotted Owl, acrylic/graphite, 12 x 12.

This story was featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

In the broadest yet most intimate sense, “home” is the space shared by all human and nonhuman species, with some animals faring better than others in living side-by-side with us. Artist Britt Freda is intrigued by the notion that the more closely we consider other species, the more we understand them—or at least, the more our perceptions and attitudes about them may shift. Creatures that initially inspire fear or aversion—the grizzly with powerful, talonlike claws, or the California condor with its wrinkled, unregal head—reveal ancient stories and ineffable qualities when viewed closely enough, Freda believes.

This theme runs through the Seattle-area painter’s newest work, on view in a two-artist show opening July 25, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art in Santa Fe. The show, entitled Home, features Freda’s acrylic, graphite, and mixed-media paintings on panel and canvas, along with graceful, abstracted horse sculptures in mixed media, aluminum, and bronze by northern New Mexico artist Siri Hollander. The show runs through August 10.

“Both artists have a unique expression with their chosen media. They convey an artistic interpretation that allows the viewer to experience something they are familiar with in a completely new way,” notes gallery owner Deborah Fritz. For Freda that often means depicting an animal whose recognizable form, upon closer viewing, dissolves into abstraction in repeating patterns, layers, and sometimes words and images etched or drawn and then partially covered or scratched away. “It’s the idea of a concept, story, or history that we can’t necessarily know in a literal way,” the 42-year-old artist explains. “We only get so much of what’s happening; some of it is like a whisper, not quite audible.”

Siri Hollander, Venacapaca, bronze, 19 x 20 x 18.

Siri Hollander, Venacapaca, bronze, 19 x 20 x 18.

With some 15 pieces in the show, Freda invites viewers to contemplate the lives and gifts of such extinct, endangered, or threatened species as elephants, grizzlies, and certain birds and owls. Her intention is not to blame humans for the fate of creatures with whom we share our home. Rather, the artist says, it is to draw the viewer in, to encourage the experience of “a different perspective and a different dialogue.”

For Hollander, the equine experience has been an important and intimate part of her daily life since childhood. Raised by American parents on an isolated horse farm in Spain, the 55-year-old artist has been expressing her relationship with horses for more than 35 years. Home brings together a retrospective selection of her horse sculpture through the decades, from tabletop to life-size works.
Among these is a life-size mare and colt in steel and pigmented cement, reflecting Hollander’s signature abstracted, highly textured style. Other pieces are cast in aluminum or bronze, or created as wall pieces in bas-relief. The artist’s newest direction, which she calls “pencil-line sculpture,” pares the horse form down to a three-dimensional outline in steel. “It’s more subtle and has a lot of empty space but all the feeling and gesture of my mixed-media pieces,” she says. “It’s like a sketch of the essence of a horse.” —Gussie Fauntleroy

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Featured in the August 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art August 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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