Frédéric Lère

In his work, Frédéric Lère captures the moment before it is gone: an evolving cityscape, an ephemeral reflection, a passing phase, a fugitive shadow. Lère has lived and worked in Hell’s Kitchen and the Garment District in Manhattan for many years: his neighborhood has become an endless painting ground. 

His COVID-era paintings span a two-year period and paint an evolving narrative of solitude and urban resilience: a portrait of New York City in its new normal

A number of his Manhattan paintings have been shown in December 2022 on the over 1,900 LinkNYC digital kiosks across the five boroughs of New York City, as part of the Art On Link program, an initiative developed by the City of New York. In November 2020, Art On Link also featured some of his New York City Portraits on the LinkNYC kiosks. 

As in 2016 Lère opened a second painting studio in the Loir Valley, in France, the 2020-2022 forced isolation years also resulted in a long-term project focusing on Renaissance French poet Pierre de Ronsard, and the XVIth century: Ronsard: 1524, a route to the AmericasA selection of paintings of the project was on view throughout the summer of 2022, under the title Le Siècle de Pierre de Ronsard at the poet’s birthplace, Manoir de la Possonnière in the Loir Valley.  

The years immediately preceding the pandemic were devoted to Hudson Yards, inspired by George Bellows’ series of paintings on Pennsylvania Station Excavation. The Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s centerpiece at Hudson Yards is a special focus in the series. Prior paintings explored Manhattan landmarks, as reflected in puddles, “Mpala Tano” and Steps to the High Line.

A seasoned traveler, Lère wants to understand the world around him, and its social structures. Depicting landscapes, monuments, or streets in series featuring various viewpoints and distances is his response. First, he captured a changing urban landscape with 360° views from his Hell’s Kitchen windows. In Switzerland, where he lived in 2002-2004, his “Voyage to the End of the Street” featured Rue de l’Athénée. By systematically painting name plates and their immediate surrounding at each street corner, he was able to represent the mixed social landscape of the emblematic Geneva street.

Following in the Hudson River painters’s footsteps, he depicted New York State landscapes, including the suburban wilderness of Mohegan Lake, and all train stations  along the MTA Hudson River Line.

Another track-inspired series was painted while working in Japan in 2009. He depicted the JR Line in Tokyo with “17 views” watercolors painted along the elevated tracks. These were later turned into kakemono oil paintings and 3D models (2010).  

With articulated cut-out panels forming folding screens, Lère paid tribute to the Garment District and the Empire State Building. He used the same technique for Grand Cour. The wooden book was purchased by the French Conseil départemental d’Indre et Loire to commemorate the presence of writer Jules Romains in the city of Saint-Avertin, and officially inaugurated in 2019.

As an illustrator, he was commissionned to execute a series of watercolors for De Salomon à Soliman, an art history book authored by Mireille Royer-Benejeam and published in 2019 by the Musée du Protestantisme in Ferrières, Tarn, France.

Frédéric Lère studied sculpture in Carrara, Italy and at École des Beaux-Arts, Tours, France – the city where he was born. He started working as an illustrator and a comic book artist in Paris, and then, from 1984, as a muralist, theater set designer, and decorative painter based in New York City and Miami Beach. He set up his first painting studio in Manhattan in 1992, and opened another one in Loir et Cher, France, in 2016.

Lère’s work is featured in private and public collections and has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the US and Europe.

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 

F Lère Copyright: Jean-François Krettly

Lère in his Loir Valley studio                                       Image copyright: Jean-François Krettly, 2021

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2022, Scenes from Hell’s Kitchen and Beyond, Art On Link, New York, NY, USA
  • 2022, Le Siècle de Pierre de Ronsard, Manoir de la Possonnière, Couture-sur-Loir, 41800 Vallée de Ronsard, France
  • 2021-2022, Ronsard: 1524, Route des Amériques, Conseil départemental d’Indre et Loire, Tours, France
  • 2020, New York City Portraits, Art On Link, New York, NY, USA
  • 2020, Nos Jardins, in partnership with photographer Olivier Dupont-Delestraint, Château du Rivau, Lémeré, France
  • 2019, De Salomon à Soliman, watercolors, Musée du Protestantisme, Ferrières, France
  • 2018, New York Cityscapes, Galerie Nocogo, La-Chartre-sur-le-Loir, France
  • 2017, New York Screens and Reflections, L’Ariana, Trôo, France
  • 2016, Steps to the High Line, Vivienne Art Galerie, Paris, France
  • 2014, Looking for Lincoln Tunnel, Garment District Space for Public Art at the Kaufman Arcade, New York, NY, USA
  • 2014, The Big Apple Circus presents the FKL Show, Mayson Gallery, New York, NY, USA
  • 2012, Animal Kingdom, RiverWinds Gallery, Wells Fargo Advisors, Rhinebeck, NY, USA
  • 2011, From Garment to Fashion, screens, Fashion Center BID, New York, NY, USA
  • 2011, 17 vues de la JR Line, Tokyo, Atelier d’Architecture Jérome Leroy, Paris, France
  • 2011, 17 vues de la JR Line, Tokyo, Galerie de l’Annexe, Saint-Avertin, France
  • 2009, Hudson River Line Train Stations, RiverWinds Gallery, Beacon, NY, USA
  • 2005, 360 Degrees Around the Glass Farmhouse Building, Market Café, New York, NY, USA
  • 2005, Tram Shelters of Geneva, Enderlyn Gallery, Roxbury, NY, USA
  • 2004, Paysages normands, Galerie de la Mairie, Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, France
  • 2003, Voyages au bout de la Rue, Galerie de l’Athénée, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2003, Le Voyage au Maroc, Chambre des Notaires, 12 Place Jean-Jaurès, Blois, France
  • 2003, Piéton de New York, Galerie La Maison blanche, Vendôme, France
  • 2001, Moscow Buildings, Pierre Marcel Gallery, 420 Española Way, Miami Beach FL, USA

Art Fairs

  • 2020, Clio Art Fair, 550 West 29th Street, New York, NY, USA
  • 2017, Talented Art Fair, Old Truman Brewery, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2022, New York Moments – Moments new-yorkais, Mairie de Sougé, France
  • 2022, Ghosts in the Machine – World Book Night 2022, Hong Kong Design Institute Library, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong
  • 2022, Ghosts in the Machine – World Book Night 2022, Bower Ashton Library, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
  • 2022, Postcards for Perec, Istanbul Planning Agency Park, Design and Architecture Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2022, Postcards for Perec, Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, Washington, USA
  • 2022, Postcards for Perec, Special Collections and Archives, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK 
  • 2022, Postcards for Perec, The Street Gallery, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
  • 2021, Postcards for Perec, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Winchester, UK
  • 2021, Journées du Patrimoine à la Chapelle Saint-André, artiste invité, Neuvy-le-Roi, France
  • 2021, ART!s, artiste invité, Cloître des Augustins, Montoire sur le Loir, France
  • 2021, Postcards for Perec, Bower Ashton Library, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
  • 2020, Creative Distancing, Digital Presentation, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
  • 2020, Life Under the Pandemic Moon, Virtual Exhibition curated by Hugo Bastidas,  Art Student League of New York, NY, USA
  • 2020, Ivresse, Galerie Nocogo, La-Chartre-sur-le-Loir, France
  • 2019, La Galerie Nocogo fait sa rétrospective, Galerie Nocogo, La-Chartre-sur-le-Loir, France
  • 2018, Déjà 30 ans que l’on épate la galerie, Vivienne Art Galerie, Paris, France
  • 2017-2019, Étéphémère, annual art show, Trôo, France
  • 2014-2019, Art en Troglo, annual art show, Saint-Étienne-de-Chigny, France
  • 2014 and 2015, Garment District Arts Festival: Open Studios, New York, NY, USA
  • 2011-2013, Fashion District Arts Festival: Open Studios, New York, NY, USA
  • 2011, JR Line, Japanese Art Association of New York, TENRI Cultural Institution, New York, NY, USA
  • 2009, A Circus!, MDH Gallery, New York, NY, USA
  • 2009, Hudson River Views, RiverWinds Gallery, Wells Fargo Advisors, Rhinebeck, NY, USA
  • 2005, Objet de Musée, Galerie À Propos d’Art, Argenteuil, France
  • 2002, Expo.02: Moi et l’Univers, Swiss National Fair, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland

Mural paintings 

With Mark Beard, Bruce Sargent LLC, New York, NY, USA

  • 2005-2011 Abercrombie & Fitch: 2005, New York, USA; 2006, Los Angeles, USA; 2007, London, UK; 2009, Milan, Italy; 2009, Tokyo, Japan; 2011, Paris, France.
  • 1986-1996: Theater sets for The Ridiculous Theatrical Company, New York, USA and various theaters in Cologne, Germany, and Vienna, Austria

With Subject to Change, Pierre Marcel Gallery, Miami Beach, FL, USA

  • 1990-2000: numerous murals in private residences, stores, cruise ships, and restaurants in Boca Raton, Miami, and Miami Beach, Florida, USA; Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Russia


De Salomon à Soliman