Through painting and drawing I fold and unfold the myths that surround us like a cosmic origami. 

Capturing the frenetic nature of the ether through lines and colours borrowed and blended from a hybrid of cultures. 

Our commonality as humans is essential in my dialogue, as I push through aesthetic norms of acceptability and taste. Memories, myths and shared emotions weave through my paintings, abstracted and reshaped again and again until we come to see that our humanity is what humbles us and sustains us. Capturing the constant oceanic movement of what it means to move through a life. To capture the ineffable in paint and graphite. To resonate with a truth that lies beneath all our embellishments. My work is more than a representation of a thing, it is the thing. And it continues to evolve long after I am finished with it, because the viewer then takes it to their own place of understanding and experience. For it is then that the painting becomes the relationship and the journey.

Kaye Freeman

Kaye Freeman's L.A. Ecosystems

By Annabel Osberg

 

    Kaye Freeman's "City Scapes" express Los Angeles as a peculiar ecosystem where beauty and harshness are inextricably intermeshed.  Ranging from monumental paintings to diminutive drawings, her urban landscapes appear as febrile daydreams of vibrant color, topsy-turvy movement, and frenetic energy. Architectural edges tilt, cables wobble, and streets dissolve in free-flowing compositions where fanciful vignettes melt into one another as hallucinatory mirages. Softening urban infrastructure's linear geometry, Freeman presents the city as a sprawling indefinite organism whose lifeblood is a squiggled network of freeways, power lines, and telecommunication wires. 

    Just as Los Angeles' glamorous skyline ensconces dismal poverty, Freeman's whimsical style and dazzling palette of fluorescents and pastels belie darker significance. 

    This is especially apparent in her largest cityscape, DTLA as the Garden of Earthly Delights (2017). Titled after Hieronymus Bosch's apocalyptic magnum opus, this 30-foot triptych represents the city's perpetual birth, life, and death. Disintegration and construction progress sequentially from left to right through the triptych, while also occurring simultaneously from top to bottom in each painting; the fluctuant city is constantly regenerating. In the leftmost canvas, Santee Alley, tenuous cranes precariously dangle a tottering block of buildings high above upside-down trousers evoking corpses. Nearby, faces, inspired by masks of peoples indigenous to various world regions, represent the city's buried cultural foundation. In the central canvas, mountains of skyscrapers appear relatively halcyon; but in the final painting, Skid Row Diamond Dogs, dwindling skylines are encircled by ramshackle tents and preponderant vagrants painted in shadowy deep violets that jar the rest of the triptych's high-keyed hues.

    Freeman's easel-sized streetscapes more compendiously crystallize her impressions of frantic urban uncanniness. Writhing overpasses erratically peak and dip like nightmarish roller coasters. Grimy gray graphite lines intersect blotchy celestial color fields of intermittently scabrous surfaces. Reeling high-rises perilously whirl under hot pink suns evoking bullet holes agape in golden skies. Expressionistic crimson brushstrokes evoke a bloody mess in Red 405 (2018), where a fetally hunched homeless figure doggedly wheels through the fuscous margins of a sanguine freeway river.

    Hints of religious iconography insinuate ruin and redemption. Betokening mastery, telephone and power poles appear as crosses while also recalling slack-stringed marionette controllers. City of Angels (2018) portrays a scrawled white mystical form hovering above skeletal transients huddled in the umbra of glowing skyscrapers. 

    As a recent immigrant, Freeman asserts her own cosmopolitan background in allusions to Los Angeles' multiculturalism. She signs her drawings with her kanji seal and incorporates a recurring character inspired by the notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly. 

    Despite her cynicism, Freeman's ambition to portray Los Angeles through her copious collection of colorful cityscapes seems celebratory at heart. This exuberant painting series leaves little doubt that for the artist, living in LA is a dream come true.

 

CV

Solo Exhibitions

2022  Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, Gadsen AL USA

2021  Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon GA USA

2019  Anatomy of a Painting, curated by and collaborative with  Amy Kaps for MOAH Lancaster East Gallery, Lancaster CA USA.

2018  Prolepsis of the Archetype, House of Wren, Artsy.net

2016  Art in the Sky, Ritz Carlton, Los Angeles, USA

2012  Floating Worlds, Wangaratta Gallery, AUS

           Fluids 液体, Gasworks, Melbourne, AUS

2011  Kingdom, Gallery 775, AUS

           Floating Worlds, Frankston Arts Centre, AUS

2009 Falling Sky, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

            Falling Sky, Wodonga Art Space, AUS

            Art At Work, Wodonga Council Chambers, AUS

2002 Tokyo Disney Death Mask, TAP Gallery, Sydney, AUS

2001  Kaye Freeman, TAP Gallery, Sydney, AUS

1996 The Tribe, ARDT Gallery Sydney, AUS

 

Group Exhibitions

2020 Tufenkian Fine Arts Glendale: That Layered Look 2, curated by Peter Frank,  CA , USA 

2019 Band of Vices : Eye to Eye, Los Angeles CA

2018 16 Contemporary Artists, Fabrik & Enter Art Foundation, Bonn, DE

          Berlin Art Week, Enter Art Foundation permanent Collection, Berlin DE

          Clay Contemporary, Norfolk, UK​

          Art Palm Springs, Cassera Arts Premiers, Palm Springs, USA

          LA Art Show, BG Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2017 Art Palm Springs, Cassera Arts Premiers, Palm Springs, USA

          New Anatomy, House of Wren, Castelli Art Space, Los Angeles, USA

2016 Rogue, House of Wren, Los Angeles, USA

2015 BG Gallery, Santa Monica, USA

          At_Salon2, Anita Traverso Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

          Words that Matter, Wangaratta Regional Art Gallery, AUS

2014 Venice Art Walk, Los Angeles, USA

2013“the rest is silence,” Death Be Kind, Melbourne, AUS

           Gallery 775, AUS

2011  9x5 Show, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

2010 Gallery 775, AUS

2009  9x5 Show, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

             Red Box Charity Auction, Melbourne, AUS

             Art@Work, City of Wodonga, AUS

2008  Small Works, Brunswick St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

2007  9x5 Show, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

            Charity Auction for Refugees, Beechworth, Victoria, AUS

2006  9x5 Show, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

            Albury Regional Art Gallery, AUS

             9x5  Show, Walker St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

2002  Two Woman Show, TAP Gallery, Sydney, AUS

2001 Fluro Show, TAP Gallery, Sydney, AUS

           Buiten, Chiba Municipal Gallery, Japan

1997  Four Women, ARDT Gallery, Sydney, AUS

         Temple of The Third Millennium, Urban Gallery, Sydney, AUS

         Christmas Show, ARDT Sydney Elemental

1996  Manly Art Gallery, Sydney, AUS 1996 Leichardt Gallery, Sydney, AUS

           Tamworth Art Gallery, AUS

 

Juried Exhibitions & Awards

2018 Beverly Hills Art Show, Winner

2017  Brand 45: Works on Paper, Brand Library & Art Center, Glendale, USA

2012  Mount Eyer Art Prize, David Rex Livingston Gallery, Sydney, AUS

          Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize, Sydney, AUS

2011   She Prize, Walker Street Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

          Mount Eyer Art Prize, David Rex Livingston Gallery, Sydney, AUS

2010 Winner, She Prize, Walker Street Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

          Rick Amor Drawing Prize, Ballarat Art Gallery, AUS

          Mount Eyer Art Prize, David Rex Livingston Gallery, Sydney, AUS  

2007 Williamstown Contemporary Art Prize, Melbourne, AUS

           St. Michael’s Archangel Prize, Melbourne, AUS

2006 Works On Paper, Brunswick St. Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

            She Prize, Walker Street Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

           She Prize, Walker Street Gallery, Melbourne, AUS

1996  Winner, Chroma Art Award For Outstanding Student Work, NSW, AUS

1991  Winner, John Olsen Scholarship, Julian Ashton, Sydney, AUS

1988   Winner, Best Female Performer, Festival of New Australian Theatre, Sydney, AUS