During the recent “Shelter at home” period in Manhattan Frédéric Lère focused on COVID-19 and explored the impact of the pandemic on his neighborhood, and on himself. This indoors voyage led to a number of “COVID Portraits“, including a self-portrait.
Earlier in 2020, before the pandemic, and in partnership with photographer Olivier Dupont Delestraint, he decided to focus on gardens. Their paintings and photographs explore parks and gardens of all sizes along the Hudson River, and in the Loire Valley, France. This work, depicting and comparing tamed and untamed nature in the two regions, highlights the critical importance of such a rich and vital heritage.
In previous years, Lère had been so impressed by the Hudson Yards development that he used this as a source of inspiration for a series of paintings. The Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s centerpiece, is the focus of several paintings, a number of which were shown at Clio Art Fair, 5-8 March 2020. Lère set up his easel in the same area from which George Bellows executed a series of four oil paintings: Pennsylvania Station Excavation (1907-1909). “I could see the connection between the Hudson Yards construction site and the extraordinary work it took to build Pennsylvania Station. Like Bellows I wanted to celebrate this project.”
Frédéric Lère uses his art to explore the world. Whether in his immediate surroundings or in far-flung places, he sets out on a discovery journey not knowing what he will find. The result is often surprising: the reflections he explores reveal another dimension, hidden details; through his series of urban landscape paintings, he identifies an overall vision that was often unsuspected until then.
Pierre Guimbard,Vivienne Art Galerie Director, Paris