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 William Freed  (1902 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: New York/Massachusetts      Known for: abstract expressionist painting

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Ad Code: 3
William Freed
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from ACME Fine Art:
William Freed

Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed first became acquainted in 1932 when both artists attended the Educational Alliance in New York. During the mid-1930s they were employed by the Federal Works Project Administration -Orlowsky as a painter in the easel division, and Freed in the mural Division.  It was in 1937 that Orlowsky happened to encounter Freed as they waited in line to receive their W.P.A. paychecks.  Orlowsky had recently begun taking classes with the controversial teacher Hans Hofmann at his new school in Manhattan, and she enthusiastically recommended that Freed join her in class.  Shortly thereafter he did. Thus, Freed and Orlowsky began a personal and professional relationship –partnership if you will- that lasted almost fifty years.

The pair was associated with Hofmann and his schools in New York and Provincetown during the prewar heyday of the abstract expressionist movement. The community of avant-garde artists in New York and in Provincetown of which they were a part became a vital component of their artistic existence. In her later years Orlowsky often spoke eloquently about the collegial atmosphere of the W.P.A. and of the Hofmann School early years and the importance of this collegiality in her development as an artist. Orlowsky and Freed were artists to the core. Their lives were almost totally given over to their artistic pursuits, in Freed's case for almost fifty years, and in Orlowsky's almost seventy. They married in 1942, and in the years that followed, Orlowsky and Freed acquired by trade, barter, and/ or gift a sizable group of artworks created by their colleagues and friends. Some of these artists became successful -even famous. Others, are today less well known; nonetheless, Olrowsky and Freed, through the course of their lengthy careers, did assemble a substantial and important group of paintings by their colleagues and friends.

During the later years of her life Orlowsky donated a number of paintings from their collection to several museums, the Cape Museum of Fine Arts, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, and the Rose Museum at Brandeis University among others.  The remaining paintings along with a selection of paintings and drawings by Orlowsky and Freed form the body of the ACME Fine Art exhibition titled: Artwork from the Collection of William Freed and Lillian Orlowsky. This disparate group of modern paintings and drawings were certainly among Orlowsky and Freed's most cherished possessions. They represent a remarkable selection of mid-century American modern art by some of the twentieth century's most important artists. Highlights of the exhibition will be six mid-century paintings by Hans Hofmann, canvases by James Gahagan and Alice Hodges, and a fine group of works on paper by George McNeil, Fritz Bultman, and Robert DeNiro Sr

Source of the Above: Press Release of Exhibition May 5 to June 11, 2005:  "Artwork from the Collecction of William Freed and Lillian Orlowsky", Acme Fine Art

Educational Alliance Art School, with Auerbach-Levy
Art Students League
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, in New York and Provincetown

1st Prize, Cape Cod Art Association, Hyannis, MA, Jurors Karl Knaths, Myron Stout and Mary Cecil Allen, 1957
Longview Foundation Purchase Award, 1960
Chapelbrook Foundation Grant, 1967
Goddard College Annual Cash Award, Best in Show, 1976
Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, 1984

Selected Exhibitions:
Society of Independent Artists, New York, 1928
Municipal Art Week, New York, 1936
A C A Gallery, New York, 1937-67
Federal Art Project Gallery, New York, 1937-40
39th Annual Philadelphia Water-color and Print, PA, 1941
PAAM, Provincetown, MA, 1946-80
Gallery 49, Provincetown, MA, 1949
Riverside Museum, Kaufman Gallery, YMHA, 1952
H C E Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1953-67
Abbo Ostrowsky Collection, Jewish Museum, 1954
James Gallery, New York, 1955-62 (solo)
Sun Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1956
Museum of Modern Art Lending Library, 1956-63
H C E Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1957-60 (solo)
Gallery 256, Provincetown, MA, 1958
Burluik Gallery, New York, 1958
Worcester Museum, MA, 1958
Boston Arts Festival, Boston, MA, 1958-59
Whitney Museum of America Arts, New York, 1959
Audubon Society, New York, 1959
DeCordova and Dana Museum and Park, Lincoln, MA, 1959
Esther Stuttman Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1960 (solo)
New Arts Gallery, Atlanta, GA, 1960 (solo)
New York University Art Collection exhibit, New York, 1960
Kresge Art Gallery, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, 1960
Esther Stuttman Gallery, New York, 1962 (solo)
Selected Exhibitions Continued:
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1962
Hofmann and His Students, Museum of Modern Art Traveling exhibition, 1963-65
Museum of Modern Art Lending Library, 1964
Esther Stuttman Gallery, New York, NY, 1965 (solo)
Golden Anniversary of PAAM, MA, 1965
Artisan Gallery, Brunswick, ME, 1967 (solo)
Chrysler Museum of Art, Provincetown, MA, 1970
First Major New England Show of the 70’s, Boston Arts Center, MA, 1970
Free Abstract Form of the 50’s, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, 1971
Provincetown 3rd Invitational Show, 1971
Chrysler Museum of Art, Provincetown, MA, 1971
Tirca Karlis Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1976-1980
WPA, Then and Now, Parsons Shool of Design, New York, 1977
Provincetown Painters, 1890’s-1970’s, Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, 1978
10th Street in 1977, Landmark Gallery, 1978
CO-OPS of 10th St., Ward-Nasse Gallery, 1978
Goddard College, Plainfield, VT, 1979 (solo)
Lenore Ross Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 1980 (solo)
Hans Hofmann as a Teacher; drawn from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the PAAM, 1980
In Retrospect, PAAM, Provincetown, MA, 1981
Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, 1981
Forum 49 Revisited, PAAM, MA, 1999
Copenhagen, Denmark, 2000
Tours, France, 2000
Cape Museum of Fine Arts, Dennis, MA, 2001
Hans Hofmann and His Students, PAAM, MA, 2003

Selected Public Collections:
Whitney Museum of American Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Smithsonian Institution
Chrysler Museum
Jewish Museum
Ilya Schor Foundation
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
New York University Art Collection
University of Texas
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Magnes Museum
Rose Museum, Brandeis University

“Art World Eyes Forum 49”, Roslyn Browne, Advocate, Provincetown, MA, 1949
New York Times, Stuart Preston, 1951
“This Week in the Art World”, Gene Brackley, Boston Globe, 1952
Arts, James R. Mellow, 1956
Art News, Lawrence Cambell, 1956
Art, Elizabeth Goodman, 1956
Art, Howard Rachliffe, 1956
New York Herald Tribune, Emily Genauer, 1957
New York Times, Dorothy Ashton, 1957
Art News, Irving Sandler; summer issue, 1958
Arts, James R. Mellow, 1958
Entertainment, “Off Broadway” Sylvia Lee, 1958
Art News, James Schuyer, 1958
Art, Ivan Karp, Village Voice, 1958
Art News, Lillian Loongren, 1959
Herald Tribune, Carlyle Burrows, 1959
Arts, A. Ventura, 1959
Village Voice, Hillary Dunsterville, 1959
The Evening Gazette, Frank Crotty, Worcester, MA, 1962
New York Herald Tribune, newest pastime, Emily Genauer, 1962
“Off Broadway”, Sylvia Lee, 1962

Catalogue, Landscape Painting, Society of Independent Artists, 1928
Palette Club of the Educational Alliance, 1957
Arts Magazine (February), 1959
Who’s Who in American Art, 1960-70
New York Herald Tribune Dance of Life, 1962
Golden Anniversary Issue, Advocate, Provincetown, MA, 1965
Provincetown Art Association catalogue, 1965
Special Arts Guide on New England Shows, Provincetown, MA, 1976
Then and Now, WPA, New York, 1976
Publications Continued:
10th Street Co OP, Catalogue, 1976
Artists at Work, One Place, Ben Brooks, 1976
Provincetown Painters by Kuchta and Seckler, Forum 49 exhibitors, 1977
Hofmann as Teacher and Artist, Art Annual (April), 1979
Provincetown Advocate (August), 1979
"Hofmann and His Students", interview by John Russell in Advocate (August), 1980
"Hofmann as Teacher", Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980
"In Retrospect", exhibition catalogue, PAAM, 1981

Artist’s Statement:
I do not believe that art can be created by means of dogma or fixed concepts. I take my inspiration from nature. This experience indicates to me my approach. I am aware of the danger of becoming a slave to the imitative forces of nature. At this point I turn my back to it.

I want to paint the invisible as well as the visible, to give each equal importance.

I do not conform or repeat myself.

I believe man’s innermost character and feeling is conveyed to canvas from his experience and struggle with nature. From the contradiction and paradox of man’s inner life comes the aesthetic truth that is finally realized pictorially on a two-dimensional plane.

From the catalogue of the 1981 retrospective exhibition of his work at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

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