In his work, Frédéric Lère captures the moment before it is gone: an evolving cityscape, an ephemeral reflection, a passing phase, a fugitive shadow. Having lived and worked in the Hell’s Kitchen/Garment District for a number of years, his neighborhood has become an endless painting ground. He never needs to venture too far away from home: there is always so much to explore! Seven of his paintings were featured on the 1,700 LinkNYC digital kiosks in November-December 2020, as part of the Art On Link program, an initiative developed by the City of New York and CityBridge.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Lère explored the impact of the pandemic on his neighborhood, and on himself. Between “shelter in place” and quarantine periods, his indoors voyages led to a “From My Window” series of paintings as well as a number of “COVID Portraits“, including a self-portrait.
Earlier in 2020, 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. It was shown at Château du Rivau, Lémeré, France in September.
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