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.
Each of 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. 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. As one art critic stated, “one doesn’t look at Warner Friedman’s paintings, one looks through them.”