Philip Frey is an artist whose colorist and painterly work is focused on the here and now, the feeling or connection to his everyday experience: evocative colors; unexpected light and the sublime quality of ‘ordinary’ objects and surroundings. His work address our relationship to visual space and the paintings surface by gently asking us to observe, to look again and again. He invites us to ‘walk through’ the painting, from dark to light, from enclosed to open spaces, from shape to shape…to enjoy the indescribable patterns, shapes, colors, brush strokes and marks on the canvas.
Frey is a nationally exhibiting artist and has been featured in many publications including: Art New England, Art of Acadia, Gettysburg Review, Maine Policy Review and the Maine Sunday Telegram. The University of Maine Museum of Art mounted an exhibition of his work in 2016. Currently, his work is held internationally with prominent private collectors and the corporate collections, including that of writer Harlan Coben, Rep. Chellie Pingree & Donald Sussman, Dick Wolf Films and the University of Maine Museum of Art. He will be featured in 2017 exhibitions at Carver Hill Gallery, Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Edgewater Gallery and Maine Art Gallery.
Philip has studied with artist Alan Bray and graduated from Syracuse University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting. He maintains a full-time studio practice nestled in the woods along bold coast of downeast Maine and teaches select painting workshops each year.
My work is about the painting itself: color, light, surface, brushstroke, shape, and movement, and how those elements fit together on the canvas. I am inspired by a feeling, a connection to my everyday experience, including evocative color, unexpected light, and fleeting gestures. My perceptions are the inspiration, but the real juice behind my work is the act of painting.
I start, as most artists do, with a blank slate and a seed of inspiration. I build and respond from there, eventually arriving back at the initial catalyst. When a painting is going well, I have a palpable feeling of being present. It’s a state, available to anyone, where one is not thinking about the past or future. In those clear, calm and joyful moments, there is no painter and no painting, just the here and now.
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 perceptions through the process of painting, and “the person who looks at it, gets it vicariously.”
BFA (Painting) Cum Laude, Syracuse University, NY, 1990
Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, 1986-1988
Solo & Two Person Exhibitions
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Here & Now, Ellsworth, ME, 2018
Carver Hill Gallery, Frey & Lafuente, Rockland, ME, 2017
University of Maine Museum of Art, Parallels, Bangor, ME, 2016
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Unexpected Light, Ellsworth, ME, 2016
Maine Art Paintings & Sculpture, Recent Work, Kennebunk, ME, 2015
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, In the Moment, Ellsworth, ME, 2014
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Island Portrait, Ellsworth, ME, 2013
Gleason Fine Art, New Work, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2012
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, New Work, Ellsworth, ME, 2011
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Maine Harbors, Ellsworth, ME, 2009
Maine Art Paintings & Sculpture, Philip Frey & Stephan Pastuhov, Kennebunk, ME, 2009
Thos. Moser, Luminous Maine: Reflections of Coastal Life, Freeport, ME, 2008
Shaw Jewelry, Interiors/Exteriors: Frey & Banquer, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2006
Selected Group & Juried Exhibitions
Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2017
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, 2006-2017
Greenhut Galleries, Portland, ME, 2001-2004, '14, '16, '17
Maine Art Gallery, Kennebunk, ME, 2008-2017
Penobscot Marine Museum (Curated by Carl Little), Searsport, ME, 2004, '09, '16
Bert Gallery, Providence, RI, 2014
Gleason Fine Art, Boothbay Harbor, ME, 2010-2015
Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme, CT, 2011
The Firehouse Gallery, Damariscotta, ME, 2003-2009
Shaw Jewelry, Northeast Harbor, ME, 2001-2008
Élan Fine Art, Rockport, ME, 2007
George Marshall Store Gallery, ME, 2006
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
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.