• Joanne Freeman More pictures
  • Joanne Freeman More pictures
  • Joanne Freeman
  • BORN :  1954

Joanne Freeman


Joanne Freeman is an American abstract painter who creates minimalist reductive paintings and works on paper, featuring hard edged abstract forms and bold, vivid, gestural markings.
She lives and works in New York City.


Freeman attended the University of Wisconsin, where she earned a B.S. in Fine Arts in 1976. She earned her M.A. in Studio Art from New York University in 1981. She has taught painting and drawing at NYU and The New School for Social Research and worked as a visiting artist and lecturer at The New York Studio School and the Massachusetts College of Art.


The American artist paints with gouache on Khadi, a handmade Indian paper fashioned from long fibered cotton. Her oeuvre is exemplified by vivid colors, geometric shapes, hard edge lines, and curved, gestural marks painted against white backgrounds. Freeman presents a reductive visual language that references urban symbols and signs, architectural patterns, and the interplay between shadow and light.

Freeman’s process involves taping off areas to create hard edges, and combining those areas of control with spontaneous mark making. The scale of her works and the marks she creates are both dictated by the extent of her physical reach. The resulting images express physicality, emotion, limitation and randomness, combined with a precise, minimalist aesthetic.


best early book of national history of america and american past cultureJoanne Freeman - Installation view, photo copyright of the artist



Freeman is heavily influenced by the ideas of the Bauhaus School, which emphasized combining the ideas and techniques of art, architecture and design. She endeavors to present new forms in a simple way.

The artist also influenced by Mid-Century modern graphic design aesthetics. The hard edge look of many of her images references well-defined shadows created by sunlight on buildings. She’s an admirer of the work of reductive artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Paul Feeley, and Kenneth Noland.


Daniel Kany, art historian, art critic and freelance writer wrote in Art Review  in August 2013 about Joanne Freeman, saying about her work:

"Walking into the main gallery of the University of Maine Museum of Art and being greeted by Joanne Freeman's work is like sitting back after a hard day and turning on some great music; on the one hand, it's calm and relaxed, but it also moves. Some things transport you by changing the place you are in to precisely where you want to be. This is what Freeman's paintings do."


best times in early america book of american past cultureJoanne Freeman - Installation view, photo copyright of the artist



Freeman has exhibited her amazing paintings extensively in galleries and museums, in solo and group exhibitions, throughout the US and internationally. The artist's solo show entitled Recent Paintings and Drawings was on display at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NY, in February 2016. Her art has been reviewed in ARTnews and The New York Observer.


Her striking pieces are included in numerous corporate collections, including those of The Prudential, Readers Digest, and the University of Maine Museum of Art, and private collections including those of Gail Stavitsky, the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions for the Montclair Art Museum, and Andy Summers, guitarist for the band The Police.


Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NY
Galerie Gris, Hudson, NY