In Plein Air

MaDora Frey

MaDora Frey mines the power of the landscape in her site specific installations. In this exhibition, Frey returns to the land she grew up on and the defining feature of her family’s home: a deep, spring-fed pond in the cavity of a former granite quarry.

Frey’s direct interactions with the landscape is evidenced through photographs. The resulting images often appear in her multi-sensory indoor installations alongside hefty piles of granite rock. Materials gathered on location, such as sun-bleached wood, bone, and stone, are co-mingled with manufactured materials like mirrors and dichroic glass. In the gallery, the inactive quarries act as a backdrop to a video installation that, projected on raw canvas, recalls the dips and crags of the landscape. The visual effect is fracturing and mesmerizing as Frey contends with the organic and the human-made.

Frey sees her work as an extension of landscape painting. Plein Air painters of the 19th century took their practice out-of-doors to gain a more direct experience of their subject. Similarly, Frey is onsite responding to the sensory dimensions of the environment at a particular moment. In Plein Air offers an unfolding impression of the artist’s experience and attachment to a familial site. Frey’s exhibition embraces the intertwining of humans and nature and returns us to the artist’s search for the sublime.

In Plein Air Big Installation
Madora Frey
MaDora Frey, Yuca Column
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Installation photography: MaDora Frey


MaDora Frey, originally from Georgia, employs a diverse artistic practice to explore her fascination for both the natural and built environment. Frey’s work takes the form of temporary installations created outdoors, of which a photograph remains, immersive site-specific indoor installations, and public works. Her notable commissions include large-scale outdoor public works created for the Katonah Museum of Art, Dashboard US at Woodruff Park, and Perennial Projects. Frey’s recent exhibitions include solo and two-person shows at Massey Klein Gallery, NY, Georgia State University Welch Gallery, Camayuhs Gallery, and Lamar Dodd Plaza Gallery. Her notable group shows include exhibitions at MOCA GA, Atlanta Contemporary, and Mint Gallery. Frey has received residency grants from the Vermont Studio Center, Prince of Wales Foundation, and the Marble House Project. She received her MFA in painting, magna cum laude, from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA, with a concentration in drawing and printmaking, from Auburn University. Additionally, Frey studied at the Florence Academy in Italy. Her work is held in numerous private collections including that of Tim and Lauren Schrasger.

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