“At the start of the fifties,” Freire recalled, “I abandoned figuration for the perspective of the imagination, anxious to create a new space.” To develop her own style of abstraction, she initially experimented with sculpture, creating virtual volumes through a single, dynamic line. Complex spatial effects also characterize her abstract paintings. Though free of perspective, her painted interwoven forms seem to recede, even dance, in an ambiguous space in tension with the painting’s flat surface.
Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
This painting consists of a trio of geometric shapes in primary colors dancing around a kinked, spiraling black linean animated constellation that seems to move forward and backward through the picture plane. One of the leading abstractionists in Montevideo, Freire created paintings with flat, slick surfaces at a time when a more expressionistic, figurative style held sway there. She made Untitled the year after she participated in the second Bienal de São Paulo, where she encountered Brazilian geometric abstraction as well as European paintings by artists such as Piet Mondrian, both of which were generative in her pursuit of an abstract vocabulary.
Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017.