PHILIP FREY (American b.1967 )
“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.
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 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 was 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.
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.”
My latest body of work, centers around my long-held interest in Maine’s iconic landscape, working harbors, and intimate interiors. Experimentation with unexpected color, assertive shape, and multifarious and fearless brushstroke has always been an aspiration of my work. In this collection, 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.
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, ‘19, 2020
Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, 2020
George Marshall Store Gallery, York, ME, 2019
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Here and Now, Ellsworth, ME, 2018
Edgewater Gallery, New Work, Middlebury, VT, 2018
Carver Hill Gallery, Frey & Lafuente, Rockland, ME, 2017
University of Maine Museum of Art, Parallels: Philip Frey, Bangor, ME, 2016
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Unexpected Light, Ellsworth, ME, 2014
Maine Art Gallery, New Works, Kennebunk, ME 2015
Couthouse 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
The Gallery on Chase Hill, The Works of 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 Exhibitions
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME, 2006-2020
Greenhut Galleries, Portland, ME, 2001-2004, ’14’, ‘16, ’17, ’18, 2020
Edgewater Gallery, Middlebury, VT, ‘17, 2020
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
Zillman Art Museum - University of Maine, Bangor, ME
Courthouse Gallery Fine Art, Ellsworth, ME
Harlan Coben, NJ
Dick Wolf, Dick Wolf Films. Universal City, CA
Susan and Rod Ward, Great Cranberry Island, ME
Company C, Concord, NH
Rep. Chellie Pingree and Donald Sussman, ME/DC
Frederick Hauck and Susan Bruce, Falmouth, ME
George and Susan Schreiber, Naples, FL
James and Isabelle Katzer, Bedminster, NJ
Louis Vitali, Kennebunkport, ME
Neil Shister and Cait Clarke, Washington, DC
Peter and Suzy Kunhardt, NY
Acorn Capitol Management, Kennet Square, PA
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
Dahmen, Jane. Talking Art in Maine, Intimate Conversations, 2020.
Kany, Daniel. “Art review: Regrets, he has a few…” Portland Press Herald, 2019.
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. “Art review: Borne from a rich history…” Portland Press Herald, 2018.
Kany, Daniel. “‘Portland Show’ offers stunning view of city.” Portland Press Herald, 2018.
Kany, Daniel. “Art Review: The other outstanding art shows of 2017.” Portland Press Herald, 2017.
Burnham, Emily. “Finding Solace in Landscape.” Bangor Daily News, 2016.
Burnham, Emily. ”Mindful of every brush stroke, Maine painter...”. 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...” Maine Policy Review 24.1, 2015.
Kadour, Ric Kasini. "Lavish Attention." exhibition catalog, Maine Art Gallery, 2015.
Kany, Daniel. “Summer visual arts: Feel like exploring?…” Portland Press Herald, 2015.
Kany, Daniel. “Greenhut’s 2014 Portland Show is a great exhibition...” Portland Press Herald, 2014.
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.
Schoodic Institute, Painting Workshops, 2018-2020
Art Waves, Painting Workshops, 2012-2020
College of the Atlantic, Painting Workshop, 2017
River Arts, Painting Workshops, 2008-2012, ’14, ’16, 17’
University of Maine Museum of Art, Painting & Drawing Workshops, 2008-2012
River Tree Arts, Painting Workshops, 2008, ’12
Maine Alliance for Arts Education, Learning in Community Mentor, 2002-2009
Ellsworth High School, Interim Art Teacher, 1998
Swan’s Island School, K-8 Art Teacher, 1998-2002
Ellsworth High School, Artist in Residence, 1996-2000
Summer Festival of the Arts, Southwest Harbor, Painting Instructor, 1996-2000