form, color, illumination Suzan Frecon painting Ulrich Loock, Matthias Frehner, Sarah Eckhardt, Josef Helfenstein, Lawrence Rinder

Publication date:
28 Mar 2008
The Menil Collection
112 pages: 289 x 203mm
2 b-w + 52 color illus.
Sales territories:

This is the first major exploration of the works of American abstract painter and watercolorist Suzan Frecon (b. 1941), critically acclaimed for her sensitive arrangement of color, form, and texture, and for the philosophical resonance of her art. By restricting herself to nonrepresentational forms, earth-based colors, and, in the case of her watercolors, “found” pieces of paper, Frecon achieves an unequaled sense of balance and openness in her work. The book features ten oil paintings and thirty watercolors dating from the late 1990s to 2007. 


form, color, illumination celebrates the uniqueness of Frecon's painting and articulates how her work distinguishes itself within the history of abstract painting. The authors describe in-depth how her artistic process and materials are an integral part of her focus and aesthetic. Included is an essay revealing the "ethics” of her aesthetics––an argument for abstraction and an attention to truth that is not divorced from social and environmental concerns.

Josef Helfenstein is director of The Menil Collection, Houston. Matthias Frehner is director of the Kunstmuseum Bern.