“As a painter, Philip Frey’s goal is often a project of soft persuasion. We recognize his scenes easily enough. But as we shift our focus from the recognizable subject to the insistent forms, luscious brushwork, and compositional design, the painting slips out of representational focus and back to abstraction, the true place of Frey’s poetry.”
— Daniel Kany, Philip Frey: Here and Now, by Daniel Kany and Carl Little
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 Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery, and Carver Hill Gallery.
Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist, with a long and steady show history in acclaimed galleries. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted a solo exhibition of his work in 2016. The monograph, Philip Frey: Here and Now, by Daniel Kany and Carl Little will be released in 2018. His work has been featured in several publications, including: Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review, and the Maine Sunday Telegram. Currently, Frey’s work is held internationally in prominent private and corporate collections, including that of writer Harlan Coben, Rep. Chellie Pingree & Donald Sussman, Dick Wolf Films and the University of Maine Museum of Art. In 2018, Frey will have two solo exhibitions, one at Courthouse Gallery Fine Art (Ellsworth, ME) and the other at Edgewater Gallery (Middlebury, VT).
George Kinghorn, writes, “Here and Now offers readers, collectors, and art aficionados a selection of recent work by Philip Frey, one of Maine’s most accomplished painters. Frey, who began his career as an artist over twenty years ago, explains that his work addresses “a need to explore, discover, and stretch” his limits as a painter, and that by design, his explorations in one series influence the other, and vice versa. This constant search for new sources of inspiration is integral to his process.”
“As a painter, Philip Frey’s goal is often a project of soft persuasion. We recognize his scenes easily enough. But as we shift our focus from the recognizable subject to the insistent forms, luscious brushwork and compositional design, the painting slips out of representational focus and back to abstraction, the true place of Frey’s poetry,” writes Daniel Kany in Here and Now.
Representation is a starting point, but I am not expressly beholden to the forms just for the sake of representation or aligning to particular artistic conventions. Rather, it is an orchestration of the forms and the fundamental abstract elements: building, discarding and keeping only that which serves the painting. Anything-is-possible is lightly tethered to perceptions, informed by self-reflection and imbued with confident, peaceful solitude.
I invite the viewer to experience the painting. As the artist Fairfield Porter suggested about his own work in a 1968 interview, I connect with my experience through the process of painting, and “the person who looks at it, gets it vicariously.”
- Philip Frey, 2018
BFA (Painting) Cum Laude, Syracuse University, NY, 1990
Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, 1986-1988
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, ’09, ’11, ’13, ’14, ’16, ‘18, 2019
George Marshall Store Gallery, York, ME, 2019
Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2018
Carver Hill Gallery, Rockland, ME, 2017
University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME, 2016
Maine Art Gallery, Kennebunk, ME 2015
Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012
Selected Group Exhibitions
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, 2006-2019
Greenhut Galleries, Portland, ME, 2001-2004, ’14’, ‘16, ’17, ’18
Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2017
Maine Art Gallery, Kennebunk, ME, 2008-2018
Thos. Moser, Freeport, ME, 2008, 2016, ‘17
Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor & Portland, ME, 2010-2016
Bert Gallery, Providence, RI, 2014
University of Maine, Lord Hall Gallery, Orono, ME, 2010
The Firehouse Gallery, Damariscotta, ME, 2003-2009
Maine Art Gallery, (2-person show), Kennebunk, ME, 2009
Shaw Jewelry, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2001-2008
Élan Fine Art, Rockport, ME, 2007
George Marshall Store Gallery, ME, 2006
Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME, 2004, ‘09
Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA, 2003
Clark House Gallery, Bangor, ME, 1998-2001
Argosy Gallery, Bar Harbor, ME, 1997-2000
McGrath Dunham Gallery, Castine, ME, 1996-2000
Between the Muse Gallery, Rockland, ME, 1997
Spring Street Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1997
June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME, 1996
Frick Gallery, Belfast, ME, 1994
University of Maine Museum of Art, ME
Harlan Coben, Author. NJ
Susan and Rod Ward, Great Cranberry, ME
Rep. Chellie Pingree and Donald Sussman, North Haven, ME
Frederick Hauck and Susan Bruce, Falmouth, ME
George and Susan Schreiber, Naples, FL
Louis Vitali, Kennebunkport, ME
Neil Shister and Cait Clarke, Washington, DC
Peter and Suzy Kunhardt, NY
Acorn Capitol Management, Kennet Square, PA
Company C, Concord, NH
Dick Wolf, Dick Wolf Films. Universal City, CA
Castine Plein Air Festival, First Place Award, 2014
Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Residency Fellow, Great Cranberry Island, ME 2012
Good Idea Grant, Maine Arts Commission, Augusta, ME 2004
Kany, Daniel, and Carl Little. Philip Frey: Here and Now. Marshall Wilkes, 2018.
Little, Carl, and David Little. Paintings of Portland. Down East Books, 2018.
Kany, Daniel. “‘Portland Show’ offers stunning view of city.” Portland Press Herald, 2018.
Mindful of every brush stroke, Maine painter..., Emily Burnham. Bangor Daily News, 2016.
Little, Carl, and David Little. Art of Acadia. Down East Books, 2016.
Kany, Daniel. “Greenhut’s Biennial ‘Portland Show’ Sets a....” Portland Press Herald, 2016.
Kinghorn, George. "Regionalism & Contemporary Artists in Maine: Opportunities and Challenges.” Maine Policy Review 24.1, 2015.
Kadour, Ric Kasini. "Lavish Attention." exhibition catalog, Maine Art Gallery, 2015.
Little, Carl. "In the Moment.” Art New England, 2014.
Kany, Daniel. “The Cultural Space of Painting.” catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, 2014.
Gettysburg Review, Fall 2012.
Little, Carl. “Fresh Ways.” exhibition catalog, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, 2011.
McAvoy, Suzette, “The Canvas.” Maine Home+Design, 2010.
Maine Home+Design, “One’s to Watch.” 2009.
Maine Home+Design, “Extraordinary Artists Whose Work Reflects Maine’s....” 2008.
Little, Carl & Arnold Skolnick. Paintings of Maine: A New Collection. Down East Books, 2006.
Little, Carl & Arnold Skolnick. The Art of Monhegan Island. Down East Books, 2004.