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If visual art is a language, then artist Julie Friedman’s dialect is color. It is an emotional dialect, which she often speaks through landscape, transforming nature from pastoral indifference to pastoral provocateur.
Viewing Friedman’s paintings is an immersive exchange: you are not just seeing the physical beauty of, say, flowers; you are experiencing the flowers’ emotional soul, and the flowers are experiencing yours. Friedman achieves this metaphysical transaction through her deep understanding of color and space, how their relationship creates an emotional tandem in which each reveals the other to themselves and to you, and in turn brings you into their company. A field or a meadow is no longer just a landscape, no matter how beautiful; it is now an integral part of your being, bound to you by shared emotions. Your relationship to the actual physical world of nature will never be the same. Beyond that blue sky you will be aware of a purple tinge of disquiet. Within that field of white flowers you will feel the surrounding blue chill of mystery or menace. Among that stand of trees you’ll sense their pleasure in their own company.
Julie Friedman’s mastery of color and her understanding of its power were initially influenced by her studies with the distinguished colorist Wolf Kahn and politically provocative painter Leon Golub. Though Friedman’s imagery is quite different from Golub’s in theme and intent, he nevertheless introduced her to the power of color, and to the artistic freedom and daring to use that power. Friedman has since made that freedom and daring her own.
Friedman’s paintings and pastels have been shown in significant exhibitions at Ohio’s Butler Museum of Art, the Slater Museum in Connecticut, the National Arts Club in New York, among many others. In 2014, she exhibited at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey Governor’s mansion, one of only twelve artists in the state invited to exhibit in that esteemed venue. She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America.in 2006, Julie Friedman founded ArtSpace in Morristown, NJ, an artist-run studio and art center dedicated to promoting the arts in the Morris County, NJ Area.