PAINTING + MIXED MEDIA
Philip Frey was born in Portland, Maine in 1967, graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Painting from Syracuse University in 1990, and has studied with master Maine artist, Alan Bray. He maintains a full-time studio practice nestled in the woods along the coast of Downeast Maine and teaches select painting workshops each year. Frey’s primary focus is the color, light, and forms of the landscape as well as the figure and interiors. He paints from direct perception, preferring the dynamic quality, richness, and challenges of working from life. Frey is represented by Carver Hill Gallery, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery, and Greenhut Galleries.
Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist, with a long and steady show history in acclaimed galleries. His work is held in prominent private and corporate collections including: University of Maine Museum of Art, writer Harlan Coben, U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree, and Dick Wolf Films. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted a solo exhibition of his work in 2016. Frey has been featured in several publications, including: Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review, and the Maine Sunday Telegram. In 2018, Frey mounted two solo exhibitions, one at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art (Ellsworth, ME) and the other at Edgewater Gallery (Middlebury, VT).
The monograph, Philip Frey: Here and Now, was published in early 2018. With an introduction by curator George Kinghorn, and essays by art critics Daniel Kany and Carl Little, Philip Frey: Here and Now presents the first in-depth look at Frey’s body of work. Kinghorn highlights Frey’s remarkable ability to render complex motifs by way of dynamic planes of color, while Kany and Little place the artist in an art-historical context. In response to Frey’s role in Maine’s evolving contemporary art scene, Kany sums it up best: “Frey’s art occupies the nexus between contemporary painting and brushy traditionalism. If there is a focus to this new direction in Maine painting, his art is it.”
My latest body of work, centers around my long-held interest in Maine’s working harbors and bold coastal landscape. Experimentation with unexpected color, assertive shape, and multifarious and fearless brushstroke has always been an aspiration of my work. All three amalgamate to reveal the latent qualities of paint on canvas: luscious and plain; crisp and blurred; opaque and transparent; vivid and muted. These elements coalesce to bring into focus the potential interplay between place, experience and creative agency. – Philip Frey, 2020