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.

Shelter in place Self-portrait, 64 panels, oil on canvas, 65 x 65 inches, 2020

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.” 

Over the years, Lère has painted railroad tracks, up North along the Hudson River, and South on the High Line. His Hudson Yards paintings came as a natural extension of these Grand Central Station and High Line projects. 

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 

As an engaged artist whose studio is in Hell’s Kitchen, Lère has exhibited internationally as well as with the Garment District Alliance; and with the Fashion District Art Festival. His paintings, watercolors, and photographs have been shown in many group and solo exhibitions in the US and Europe, and are featured in private and public collections.
The De Salomon à Soliman art history book features a series of Lère’s watercolors which were commissioned by the Musée du Protestantisme in Ferrières, Tarn, France. The originals were exhibited at the Museum from November to December 2019 to coincide with the book launch.