Urgent Museum Notice

NMWA Presents New Work by DC Artist Freya Grand

Oil painting with expressive, brushy strokes depicting a mossed mountain and cloudy sky
Freya Grand: Minding the Landscape on view February 1 through May 5, 2013

WASHINGTON —The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) announces Freya Grand: Minding the Landscape, an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Washington, D.C.-based artist Freya Grand, opening on February 1 (on view through May 5, 2013).

Freya Grand: Minding the Landscape communicates the wonder and exhilaration found in uninhabited landscapes. Grand’s art explores the link between her own emotions and the natural world. Rather than highly detailed landscapes, her works are based upon the landscape but compellingly allude to the unseen.

The exhibition presents images of mountains, seashores, plains, and forests derived from Grand’s trips to Ecuador, Peru, Scotland, Ireland, Botswana, and the Pacific Northwest, as well as her childhood home in Wisconsin. Although Grand’s subjects are inspired by her travels, she meticulously develops the compositions of her paintings—and even her drawings—in her Washington, D.C., studio.

Grand creates compositions of varied sizes to explore different aspects of the landscape. She describes her small paintings on panel as interludes between her large canvases, which often feature distant or bird’s-eye views. The small paintings encompass a variety of perspectives, ranging from long views to extreme, slightly abstracted, close-ups. This exhibition places Grand’s drawings alongside her small and large paintings, revealing her dynamic art-making process.

“Primarily due to social constraints, few historical women artists pursued landscape as subject matter. Grand has made landscape her sole subject, and even more striking is her transformation of geological features and atmospheric conditions into visions that seem to lie somewhere between the real world and a dream,” said NMWA Chief Curator Kathryn Wat.

About the Artist

Since 2001, Freya Grand (b. 1947) has devoted herself to painting the natural world. Her renderings of lofty mountains, raking clouds, pounding surfs, and silent plains embody her own experiences within these uninhabited landscapes. Using subtly modulated colors, bold shapes, and fluid brushwork, Grand develops compositions that evoke both physical sensations and a profound sense of emotion or mood.

Grand’s art begins with her travels to remote locations. “There’s an emotional charge in a space that feels powerful and unfamiliar,” she said. Minding the Landscape presents images derived from the artist’s journeys to Ecuador, Peru, Scotland, Ireland, Botswana, and the Pacific Northwest. Consulting notes, photographs, and cursory sketches made during her travels, Grand synthesizes her experiences of the land in the finished paintings and drawings she develops in her Washington, D.C., studio. 

Grand is driven by the beauty and power of landscapes, which offer access to what she describes as “the vastness of the universal.” Eschewing minute detail and often drawing her compositions toward abstraction, Grand cannily conveys in her imagery both a sense of place and allusions to the unseen world. Through large-scale oil paintings, series of small oil paintings on panel, and graphite drawings, Minding the Landscape explores the breadth of Freya Grand’s work and process.

To learn more about the artist, visit www.freyagrand.com.

Freya Grand: Minding the Landscape is organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts and is generously supported by the members of NMWA.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, NMWA is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,500 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists; including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker, and Nan Goldin along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints. NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. NMWA is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA Members and youth 18 and under.

For more information, visit www.nmwa.org, Broad Strokes Blog, Facebook or Twitter.