Born in 1935 and raised in New York City, Warner Friedman was the recipient of several awards for his artwork as a child, but started out his adult life as an engineer. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering at Clarkson College in New York, he decided to enroll in art classes at night school at the Pratt Institute, while working as an engineer by day. Gradually, the attraction to art took hold, and he went on to full-time studies at Cooper Union, which at the time was the only full-scholarship college in the country dedicated solely to art, architecture and engineering.
In the early years, Mr. Friedman experimented with Realism, Modernism and Abstract Expressionism, but over time, his lifelong attraction to mathematic precision led him to the abstract geometric works which he exhibited in New York for 15 years.
Eventually, this development evolved towards an unconventional approach to land and seascape painting for which he is known today. Each of Mr. Friedman’s meticulously detailed natural scenes is framed at the forefront by some architectural structure, such as a window, a door, a fence, a balcony. As one art critic stated, “one doesn’t look at Warner Friedman’s paintings, one looks through them.”
Each of the solid human constructions provides for a compelling juxtaposition of stable geometric design against wild open spaces, and each imparts a subtly different perspective to the view beyond.
A door opening to streaming morning light conveys a sense of possibility, while the view from a high balcony is lofty and regal, and the veranda of a coastal balcony is homey and comfortable. In each work, the sometimes-overlapping architectural forms play with the light source and create beautifully defined shapes, which contrast and at the same time complement the lush natural settings.
Mr. Friedman currently resides in Massachusetts, which provides him with much of the subject matter for his landscapes. He has presented his paintings at numerous group and solo exhibits in galleries and museums across the country. During his career he has received numerous awards, including a Massachusetts Artist Fellowship, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the Richard Florsheim Art Fund Grant.
His works can be viewed at Bernay Fine Art in Great Barrington, MA and the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA.
Acrylic on canvas, 42" x 80", 1999