Linden Frederick | Alan Magee: The Maine Idea

Forum Gallery

Sep. 22, 2024 - Nov. 5, 2022

475 Park Ave. at 57th Street
New York, 10022
PHONE 212 355-4545

New York, NY – From September 22 through November 5, 2022, Forum Gallery, New York, will present The Maine Idea, an exhibition of works by Linden Frederick and Alan Magee whose distinct approaches capture the mystery, majesty and history of the place that’s fascinated artists for more than two centuries.

Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, George Bellows, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Wyeth are just a handful of the many glorious painters who have found and explored the landscape, the people, the feeling of this unique State that is truly like none other. Today, Linden Frederick and Alan Magee, both born elsewhere, have lived and worked in and been inspired by Maine for decades.

Linden Frederick grew up in upstate New York, moving to Belfast, Maine in 1989. “Maine’s culture reflects a small-town American way of life – and that feeds into what I know, and what my paintings often depict,” he observes. “Maine embraces its past and well as its present, and there is a deep respect for tradition and heritage…Maine is unpretentious…Living here, I’m closer to the human experience I often hint at in my work.”

The twelve new paintings by Linden Frederick on view in the exhibition each capture in rich, enigmatic visions the elements of life that drew the Artist to Maine. Whether a single mysterious lit window in paintings like Night Owl (55 x 55 inches), illuminated shop windows in Recruit (30 x 42 inches), or the nocturnal view of a pond lit by man-made lamppost in Skating (16 x 16 inches), Frederick’s use of light hints at human life in an era not long past but not of today that lies beneath the surface. Neither landscapes nor cityscapes, these are storyscapes in which a human presence is only implicit. Linden Frederick notes: “Maine can feel removed from the reality of modern life – somewhat like a stage set would be – and my paintings often reflect that same sensibility.”

Alan Magee was born in Pennsylvania. In elementary school, the Artist found himself attracted to Maine on the multi-colored pull-down map of the US in his classroom, “the state at the upper right…bordering the blue Atlantic,” he recalls. His imagination captured for life, in 1976 Magee and his wife moved to Camden where early on he discovered the stone beach at Pemaquid Point that would prove to be a turning point in his life and work. The grandest in scale of ten works by Magee in the exhibition, Voyage (acrylic on canvas, 60 x 96 inches) is at once an other-wordly embodiment of the Pemaquid stones and a metaphor for the travel that Magee notes has served to deepen his relationship with the state: “Departing and returning – the cycle of time away and home, of discovery and contemplation – this time-honored rhythm characterizes my relationship to Maine.”

Quotidian objects – a salvaged chain, an artist’s paintbrush, and rusty nails discovered on the shores of the Island of Matinicus – are the subject of the paintings Chain (58 x 84 inches), Paragon (30 x 24 inches), and This Half Century: Matinicus (10 x 8 inches). Depicted in amplified scale, Magee sees in these objects an opportunity to contemplate the history of human life. “A constellation of private pilgrimage sites…a vast cabinet of curiosities housing thousands of old but still useful tools…intriguing, abandoned objects…all of these things are rich in metaphorical possibilities, and marvels for the eye,” says Magee.

You are invited to explore our Online Viewing Room for The Maine Idea here:

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