What drew me to my college art history major wasn’t just the artwork itself, which obviously astounded me, but it was the stories of the artists themselves and how the way they lived influenced their work that fascinated me. In her grids of small scale works, London artist Holly Frean playfully gives us glimpses into art history and the lives of artists.
Small, seemingly insignificant moments like Rothko stretching or Picasso picnicking are captured alongside “larger” events like Lucian Freud painting Queen Elizabeth’s portrait. For all our adoration and their notoriety, works like Frean’s help us to remember that these master artists were every day people, experiencing much of the same mundane moments of life that we do, with a peppering of the extraordinary.
In these tiny little images, we get a film-strip like glimpse into a day or event in the life of the artist. Frean keeps her compositions simple so that much is conveyed with a small amount of visual information. The grids read almost like an Instagram feed, screen captures of each instant, which may reveal much or leave much to the imagination.
All images are via the artist’s website.