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PORT CLYDE, ME - PORT CLYDE, ME - Barbara Prey Projects is pleased to present three upcoming summer exhibitions of recent work by internationally acclaimed artist Barbara Ernst Prey.

Barbara Ernst Prey: New Oil Paintings and Prints               July 1 – July 14

Inflection Points: 40 Years Painting Maine                            July 15 -Sept 4

MASS MoCA: Studies from a Museum Commission             August 15 – Sept 20


Barbara Ernst Prey: New Oil Paintings and Prints


The summer 2017 inaugural exhibition at Barbara Prey Projects will feature recent small-scale oil paintings along with a new series of limited edition prints. While Prey is mostly known as a watercolorist, the artist has recently returned to the medium in which she first began her instruction; the size of the panels and nature of the oil medium enabled Prey to experiment with levels of freedom and informality not afforded by watercolor. The exhibition will debut the paintings of nearby Seavy Island as well as new works from the artist’s Village View series in conjunction with recent digital prints of select drawings.


Inflection Points: 40 Years Painting Maine

Blueberry Fields, Fall, Oil on panel, 11 x 14 inches

Blueberry Fields, Fall, Oil on panel, 11 x 14 inches

An American painter with international reputation, Barbara Prey has been maintaining a studio and painting in Maine for over 40 years. The northeastern state has a long tradition in the history of American landscape painting, thinking of artists such as Hopper, Church, Homer, Wyeth—but few, if any, are women. 

Over the many years of painting in Maine, Prey built a close and longstanding relationship with the local fishing community, which is fundamental to her subject matter. 

Prey mostly works on site 'en plein air' and was always drawn to the unique landscape of Maine, examining and implementing her surroundings through the visual language of landscape painting. The exhibition is a synthesis of Barbara Prey’s dialogue with her immediate environs in the Port Clyde, ME area and her observations on the same location’s evolution over the course of 40 years.

40 Years Paining Maine further explores the strong watercolor tradition in Maine and with a woman painter, revising the male dominated art-historical tradition.


MASS MoCA. Studies from a Museum Commission

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) has commissioned Barbara Ernst Prey to paint a groundbreaking monumental watercolor for their new Building 6 to be completed on Memorial Day Weekend 2017.

Barbara Prey is working on an interior portrait of MASS MoCA’s 120,000 square foot Building 6, a massive watercolor depicting part of the historic mill in its raw, un-renovated state, just prior to the beginning of the construction work that is now under way. Measuring 8 feet tall by 15 feet wide, Barbara’s work will be monumental by any standard, but for a watercolor on paper—perhaps the most unforgiving combination of any painterly media—the undertaking is truly breathtaking as it stretches the medium in new and exciting ways. The monumental scale of her project breaks boundaries and opens up new ideas and concepts within the artist’s own practice and is a technical tour de force, requiring specially made papers, mounts, frames as well as an extra large studio space to paint. As an artist that works mainly on site, Prey draw many studies in the space at MASS MoCA. The studies began small and in pencil, before moving to color and larger formats. The works displayed in this exhibition serve as references for the final painting and uniquely chronicle the development of Barbara Prey’s commission for MASS MoCA.


About the gallery

Barbara Prey Projects is a gallery and exhibition space in Port Clyde, ME. Opening as a gallery in 2000, BPP is housed in an historic waterfront structure that has been part of the community since the late 1800s, and has century-old ties to Maine’s prominent artistic tradition.855 Main Street, Port Clyde, ME 04855 (516) 316-7477 www.barbarapreyprojects.com

About the artist

Prey is one of the key figures of 21st century painting. She was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Arts. Members are chosen for their established record of distinguished service and achievement in the arts. Previous members include noted artists Leonard Bernstein, John Steinbeck, and Helen Frankenthaler.

Prey graduated from Williams College where she studied with Lane Faison as part of the Williams College Art Mafia and holds a master’s from Harvard University where she was able to continue her art history studies. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a Henry Luce Foundation grant that enabled her to travel, study and exhibit extensively in Europe and Asia. She is an art blogger for The Huffington Post, a frequent lecturer and an arts advocate as well as adjunct faculty at Williams College.

Prey’s paintings are included in some of the most important public and private collections around the world including The White House (one of two living female artists), The National Endowment for the Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Kennedy Space Center, the Farnsworth Art Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art Dartmouth College, The Taiwan Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Bush Presidential Library and Center. She is commissioned by NASA to document space history.