See captivating creations that span artist Bill Freeland’s industrious 50-year career, from early paintings to sculptures never before exhibited, at the first showing of the Chester County native’s work since his death in 2009.
A self-proclaimed “abstract realist,” Freeland originally studied as a painter under Hans Hoffmann, the famous German-American abstract expressionist. From there, he transitioned into dimensional wall constructions and sculptures. He was a beloved professor at the Moore College of Art for more than 20 years and traveled often to County Mayo, Ireland, the home of his ancestors.
Freeland’s work addresses work itself, and his inspiration by such items as windmills, farming tools, and boats is most evident in his sculptures. “Inverted Yoke,” for instance, opens up an “ancient oppressive symbol” in order to re-imagine it as a sign of liberty. This particular piece was selected by the National Academy Museum for the museum’s 183rd biennial non-member invitational exhibition.
Freeland gave numerous solo exhibitions at galleries including the Delaware Art Museum, the Royal Hibernian Academy of Art, and the Dolan/Maxwell Gallery in New York. His many awards include a 1989 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a 2008 Agop Agopoff Sculpture Award.
The upcoming exhibition, “Beginnings,” is located at the Serpentine Gallery in West Chester, where it opens May 3. Freeland’s son Erik will host the opening reception on May 6, from 6-9pm. The exhibition runs through May 31.