WM | whitehot journal of modern art

Portrait of Eric Freeman, 2002. Courtesy of © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

By JAMES SALOMON August, 2021

WHAT?!? How???

It was early early morning in early August, I was in mattress, scrolling by way of IG stories which stopped on a little something from Ross that would set the mood for the working day. Eric was lifeless.

No facts have been offered. I later found out that it took place in his sleep, and that is plenty of for me to know about so I’ll halt there. Though I hadn’t seen him for quite a few years, I would been subsequent his work on social media and realized he’d constantly stayed the class in his language.

Eric and I had been near when he confirmed with Mary Boone and I was on her workforce. We’d sell his paintings just before they could dry, purchasers would call up from the studio telling us what they’d be getting ahead of we even knew they existed. This was in the mid 2000’s, right before the crash, when it was all a massive party, and we experienced heaps of fun collectively with all the social bonuses that the artwork world delivered. I’d watch gals (and men) tripping over themselves to communicate with Eric, as he was this wonderful man with boyish charm, no serious agenda, just going with the movement.

“Eric and I became good friends by Ross (Bleckner),” writes photographer Kelly Klein, “I would go more than and pay a visit to him at his studio, he’d clarify his method and goals, I was so seduced by his use of shade and imagined of him as radiant as his get the job done. An angel experience with amazing green eyes. A stunning soul.”

Eric Freeman for NY Moments, 2000. Courtesy of Kelly Klein.

In 2005 when I was looking to open a seasonal gallery out East, Eric was the 1st person I named, and it was he who dialed me into Ross’ room on Plank Highway, exactly where David Salle also had a studio. Those models ended up brand new and just correct for what I was striving to do. Ross ultimately handed around his lease to Eric and we turned neighbors.

Eric Freeman, Jack Youngerman, and Willem DeKooning at the Parrish Artwork Museum as component of their lasting assortment. Courtesy of the Parrish.

During and following his time with Mary, he also had a existence in Europe, where the perform was popular with Wetterling in Stockholm, Forsblom in Helsinki, and Noirhomme in Brussels. He later confirmed with Sam Trioli at Start F18 in New York, and there was usually Edsel Williams, then Excursion Patterson, both notable East Stop dealers, among other galleries scattered about the planet.

 Eric Freeman at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, 2010. Courtesy of Galerie Forsblom. 

 Eric Freeman at Start F18, New York, 2015. Courtesy of Start F18. 

Ross contributes: “As much as eric cherished to be in his studio… as substantially as he was fascinated with the complexities of transparency, pigment, mixing, formulating new combos and layering a person atop the other so that the light seemed to shift colour and the notion of space… I really in no way saw his paintings as painting qua painting, I saw them as the flickering of currently being a contemporary and modern definition of what we may possibly phone touching divinity. It’s what artists aspire to, and I imagine he did.

They hum with vibrational electrical power that basically makes them feel sculptural. They appear to have angles, to optically pulsate… warp, bend, turn out to be convex or concave owning far more to do with the kinetics of artists like James Turrell, Richard Serra, or Dan Flavin…

He brought the light and mood that individuals are so moved by in a Rothko portray into up to date discourse.

He experienced just turned 51 he experienced so much awesome do the job remaining in him to give the globe.”

Mary, who happily spends her days working privately, was disheartened when the information arrived in. “I have really fond reminiscences of my time with Eric, he was a superb individual and a extremely good artist. I know he’ll be skipped by several, such as me.” WM