Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Suzy Frelinghuysen exhibited her work alongside that of her husband, George L.K. Morris, and fellow members of the American Abstract Artists (AAA) Albert E. Gallatin and Charles Green Shaw, at the Paul Reinhardt Gallery in New York. The group earned the informal title the “Park Avenue Cubists” due to their wealth and social standing. Exposed to many of the European avant-garde movements that Morris studied and collected, Frelinghuysen’s paintings demonstrate the influence of the synthetic cubism of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris and are characterized by elegant, playful simplicity.
In Evening Grosbeaks Set Record, Frelinghuysen’s papier collé is marked by interlocking linear forms. The collaged elements, fragmented pieces of the masthead of Audubon Magazine with the headline “Evening Grosbeaks Set Record,” are affixed to a book cover. Evening grosbeaks are big-billed finches native to North America. They originated in the Northwest, but now breed across the country to the east coast of New England. The adult males are black and yellow with a pronounced white spot in their wings and all three of these colors feature prominently in Frelinghuysen’s composition. In her choice of reference, Frelinghuysen highlights the uniquely American quality of her adaption of European synthetic cubism.