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Gudrun Mertes-Frady

United States Born in: 1939
Translation in progress

Gudrun Mertes-Frady is a New York-based abstract artist whose work blends geometric structure with intuitive, painterly explorations of color and line.

Mertes-Frady was born in Cologne, Germany. She studied painting and art history at the Cologne Academy of Fine and Applied Arts.
She has lived and worked in New York City since 1981.

Mertes-Frady shifts her practice between painting and drawing. Her processes for the two are quite different.

Her drawings manifest quickly and intuitively as she applies multiple layers of Conte crayon, graphite, charcoal and metallic crayon to hand-made sheets of Japanese paper, such as Kozo (made from mulberry trees) or Gampi (made from the gampi bush).

Her work on mylar evolve over a longer period of time. Using a mixture of ink and water based media, she creates layered, expressionistic, abstract compositions, often using both the front and back of the semi-translucent surface in order to add dimensionality and depth.

Her paintings are all oil on canvas, linen and sometime wood panel. She frequently includes pigments of aluminum and graphite. This metallic media becomes activated by ambient light, creating a kinetic effect when the work is viewed from different angles. (All the white appearing lines in some of her paintings are actually metallic oil paint and change from soft grey to a luminous silver.)

Raised in a family of architects, Mertes-Frady learned early on to appreciate the visual language of the grid.
Her background led her to appreciate the structure of paintings by Constructivist artists like Malevich and Bauhaus artists like Mondrian. Throughout her career she has experimented with many different mediums and techniques, but has always relied on the geometry of the grid for stability. Even her more lyrical, “all-over” drawings are underpinned by an architectonic arrangement of space.

Despite their structured appearance, however, Mertes-Frady never plans her compositions in advance. She is inspired by instinct and intuition. By freeing herself to react in the moment to arbitrary choices about color, texture, and line, unexpected and beautiful contrasts are allowed to develop between the architectonic structure of the work and its painterly spirit.

Her work is in many public, private, and corporate collections, including that of Rockefeller University, Universal Music, The Busch Reisinger Museum, Gwyneth Paltrow, the American Embassy in Dubai, and many others.
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Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Visible/Invisible, Drawing

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Visible/Invisible, 2017
20 x 30 inch
Drawing

$3,017

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, My Small City, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

My Small City, 2018
18 x 18 inch
Painting

$3,017

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Cloud, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Cloud, 2015
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$14,637

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Dancing Yellow, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Dancing Yellow, 2010
60 x 63 inch
Painting

$20,222

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Manhattan II, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Manhattan II, 2011
30 x 31 inch
Painting

$7,575

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Shooting Stars, Drawing

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Shooting Stars, 2014
35 x 44 inch
Drawing

$4,558

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Blue Wave, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Blue Wave, 2018
42 x 30 inch
Painting

$4,044

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Copper Drawing, Drawing

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Copper Drawing, 2015
38 x 49 inch
Drawing

$4,558

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Graphite Over Red, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Graphite Over Red, 2015
36 x 48 inch
Painting

$11,106

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Internal Spin, Drawing

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Internal Spin, 2014
19.5 x 26 inch
Drawing

$2,054

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Moon Palace, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Moon Palace, 2014
60 x 63 inch
Painting

$20,222

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Object of Light, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Object of Light, 2015
60 x 63 inch
Painting

$21,120

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Second Summer, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Second Summer, 2018
40 x 34 inch
Painting

$11,106

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Star Ship, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Star Ship, 2015
48 x 50 inch
Painting

$14,637

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Trellis, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Trellis, 2018
19 x 24 inch
Painting

$2,054

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Viridian Field, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Viridian Field, 2009
60 x 63 inch
Painting

$20,222

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Trellis II, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Trellis II, 2018
19 x 24 inch
Painting

$2,054

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, White Queen, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

White Queen, 2018
19 x 24 inch
Painting

$2,054

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Floating Petals, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Floating Petals, 2017
42 x 30 inch
Painting

$4,044

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Marble Gate, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Marble Gate, 2017
42 x 30 inch
Painting

$4,044

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Spirit Field, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Spirit Field, 2017
42 x 30 inch
Painting

$4,044

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Internal Trace, Painting

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Internal Trace, 2018
42 x 30 inch
Painting

$4,044

Gudrun Mertes-Frady, Illuminated Night, Drawing

Gudrun Mertes-Frady

Illuminated Night, 2015
24.5 x 36.5 inch
Drawing

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