PAST EXHIBITIONS

IN SEARCH OF AMERICA

July 18 - September 5, 2016

“Color by-passes logic and speaks directly to our emotions, a powerful form of communication." –  Barbara Ernst Prey

Barbara Prey Projects is proud to announce In Search of Americathe most recent works of internationally celebrated artist Barbara Ernst Prey, July 16-September 5. This monumental and timely exhibit explores memory, art history, and the influences of Color Field painters on the large-scale watercolors of Barbara Ernst Prey. In Search of America considers Prey's distinct perspective as a 21st century female artist, which is both essential to, and occasionally at odds with, her subjects as she explores the depth of the American landscape and American identity. Her belief that color is the most powerful way to communicate drove Prey to develop groundbreaking, intricate layering techniques. Beginning with marks on paper, and then built up through her evocative use of color and dozens of thin washes, often incorporating parts of her surrounds - water, soil, crushed shells - Prey's pieces defiantly search for America; asking questions of who am I and where are we going. While the work is predominantly American based in subject matter, the aura Prey produces thoughout her work can be appreciated on a global scale. The exhibit confirms Prey's place as one of the most significant American artists, furthering the genre of American driven landscapes. 

Island Finds, Watercolor on paper, 21 x 29 inches

Island Finds, Watercolor on paper, 21 x 29 inches

 

Prey 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, Richard Diebenkorn and Isaac Stern. Her painting Lineleader, is currently on exhibit at the National Endowment for the Arts in the office of the Chairman. With work in the White House’s permanent collection, her appointment to the National Council on the Arts, as well as a long list of important private, public, national and international collections, her place as a significant American artist is secure. 

In Search of America features works that mine a uniquely American tenor in which color creates the relationship between narrative and abstract creating a tension that is both serene and unnerving. This is seen in her new landscape Marsh Grass, which cuts across the color wheel, layering rich developed blues directly above saturated yellows and oranges and pointing us back to these spectacular color combinations from nature. Prey’s technique is especially apparent in Meeting House in which each wash has subtly changed the nature of the piece until the depth and balance are achieved, making the painting as much a reflection of the space changing over time and the artist’s memory changing over time. Her brushwork and layering of color positively thrives within this piece and truly proves why the Heckscher Museum Director Michael Schantz said, “Barbara Ernst Prey [is] one of America’s most gifted watercolorists...Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.” In Search of America at Blue Water Fine Arts brings together some of Barbara’s most powerful works both conceptually and aesthetically. Her reflections on the contemporary American landscape will be recognized on the time line of art history. 

Sarah Cash, curator of the National Gallery of Art, writes, “Among the foremost artists at work in the United States today, Barbara Ernst Prey has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for nearly forty years. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places. The New York Times writes, “Prey is going where artists Rauschenberg and Warhol have gone before.” 

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ON SITE: BARBARA ERNST PREY'S TRAVELOGUES

August 16 - September 5, 2016

Gordes, 2015, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 14 inches

Gordes, 2015, Watercolor on paper, 11 x 14 inches

Barbara Prey Projects is pleased to announce ON SITE: BARBARA ERNST PREY’S TRAVELOGUES, a selection of never seen before travel paintings from Europe, Asia and South America.

Barbara Ernst Prey is in constant dialogue with her surroundings, be it while exploring her immediate and familiar environs, while traveling the United States or the wide world. ON SITE brings together unique reflections and memories of the world seen through the artist’s eyes, works that reveal Prey’s intense study and examination of different cultural and art historical heritages. The travel paintings distinctively reflect on the artist as a world traveler; in her early formative years after graduation from Williams and Harvard, Prey received a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, enabling her to travel, study, work and exhibit extensively in Europe and Asia—the sketch book always on hand. During her four years in Germany, the artist spent much time studying the lines of early Renaissance drawings, Gothic sculptures and architectural sketches. Absorbing her studies, Prey focused on drawing when she returned to the United States in the early 1980s where her illustration work got published in The New Yorker and other Magazines for over 10 years. The artist's discoveries and memorable moments during her travels, the exposure to foreign cultures and new imagery are essential to her practice.  Painting utensils as steady companions, Prey continues her journeys, always seeking out new sites to work “en plein air”. Recent travels have taken her to France, Switzerland and Peru; the world comes together in ON SITE, where sceneries as diverse as a picturesque row of houses in a French village, snow covered Swiss mountains or colorful cityscapes of the Peruvian Andes join each other and beautifully prove artist-traveler Barbara Ernst Prey’s skilled eye: "I’m always looking and distilling”, she states.

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PRINTS AND NEW OILS

July 1 - 17, 2016

SEASON OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY, JULY 2 FROM 4-6PM

Barbara Prey Projects is pleased to open the season with “Barbara Ernst Prey: Prints and New Oils” featuring two distinct series; newly released limited edition prints and recent small-scale oil paintings.

New print releases of Gallantly Streaming (currently on exhibit at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations with prominent placement in the lobby) and Parade Route (on view at the U.S. Embassy in Hong Kong) produced in collaboration with U.L.A.E., which produces prints of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, are included in the exhibit as are prints of her iconic painting Patriot and her NASA commissioned work. A print of Family Portrait (collection The Brooklyn Museum), as well as two of her most sought after pieces Hydrangeas (Collection Bush Presidential Library) and The Collection will be on display in July. The Collection was selected by the U.S. State Department as the invitation image for every U.S. Ambassador and Embassy worldwide July 4th celebration. 

Also included in the exhibition is a selection of oil paintings featuring the recent “Village View” series as well as a group of small-scale plein air travel paintings. Those works mark a shift in Prey’s technique, and a return from works on paper into the oil paint medium. For the past four decades, Prey has been known for her incisive, saturated watercolors that operate as a record of the artist’s constant engagement with the multifaceted, ever-changing American landscape. In the past year, the artist has returned to the medium in which she first began her instruction, and created a new series of small-scale works on panel. 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 “Village View” series is a synthesis of Prey’s dialogue with her surroundings in Port Clyde, Maine and her observations on the same location’s evolution over the course of 40 years. The exhibition presents a meditation on place. The creation of the “Village View” series presented Prey the opportunity to revisit the pathways, architectural structures, and vistas she had seen for decades and her family had known before her.

The travel paintings distinctively reflect on the artist as a world traveler; in her early formative years, Prey travelled extensively on a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation—the sketch book always on hand. Barbara continues her journeys and has been working on a series of western/mountain paintings that will be exhibited in July; also on view will be recently finished Provence (France) paintings.

 

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RE/VIEWING THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE

July 20 - September 8, 2015

“Color is the most immediate and powerful form of visual communication there is.  It is able to by-pass logic and speak
directly to our emotions.” 
–  Barbara Ernst Prey

Quadricentennial Nocturne, 28 x 40 inches, Watercolor

Quadricentennial Nocturne, 28 x 40 inches, Watercolor

Blue Water Fine Arts is proud to announce Re/Viewing the American Landscape, the most recent works of internationally celebrated artist Barbara Ernst Prey, July 20-August 31. This monumental exhibition explores the influences of memory, Color Field painters, and art history on the large-scale watercolor landscapes of Barbara Ernst Prey.  Re/Viewing the American Landscape considers Prey’s distinct and evocative use of color as a 21st century female artist which is both essential to, and occasionally at odds with, her subjects as she explores the depth of the American landscape. Her belief that color is the most powerful way to communicate drove Prey to develop groundbreaking, intricate layering techniques, built up through dozens of thin washes on paper, often incorporating parts of her surrounds –water, soil, crushed shells - Prey’s pieces defiantly Re/View the American Landscape. While the work is predominantly American based in subject matter, the aura Prey produces throughout her work can be appreciated on a global scale.  The exhibit proves Prey’s place as a significant American artist furthering the genre of American driven landscapes.

Re/Viewing the American Landscape features works that explore natural instances in which color creates a jarring balance.  This is seen in her new piece Quadricentennial Nocturne, which cuts across the color wheel, layering rich developed blues directly above saturated yellows and oranges and pointing us back to these spectacular color combinations from nature.  Prey’s technique is especially apparent in Fibonacci’s Workshop in which each wash has subtly changed the nature of the piece until the depth and balance are achieved, making the painting as much a reflection of the space changing over time and the artist’s memory changing over time. Her brushwork and layering of color positively thrives within this piece and truly proves why the Heckscher Museum Director Michael Schantz said, “Barbara Ernst Prey [is] one of America’s most gifted watercolorists…Barbara’s flawless technique ranks her among the most important artists who ever painted in the medium.” Re/Viewing the American Landscape at Blue Water Fine Arts brings together some of Barbara’s most powerful works both conceptually and aesthetically. Her reflections on the contemporary American landscape will be recognized on the time line of art history.  

Sarah Cash, curator of the National Gallery of Art, writes, “Among the foremost artists at work in the United States today, Barbara Ernst Prey has painted powerful, vibrant views of her surroundings for nearly forty years. The artist continues to take the watercolor medium, which has an august role in the history of American art, to innovative places.  The New York Times writes, “Prey is going where artists Rauschenberg and Warhol have gone before.”


  God and Country, Watercolor on Paper, 27 x 22 inches  

  God and Country, Watercolor on Paper, 27 x 22 inches

 

BARBARA ERNST PREY: PRINTS AND DRAWINGS 

JULY 1 - JULY 20, 2015

Blue Water Fine Arts celebrates its 15th Year with Barbara Ernst Prey: Prints and Drawings featuring a series of twenty newly released prints from July 1 to July 20.  New print releases of God and Country (exhibited at the U.S. Embassy Residence in Paris and part of Prey’s 9/11 series) and Parade Route (currently on view at the U.S. Embassy in Hong Kong) produced in collaboration with U.L.A.E., which produces prints of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, are included in the exhibit as are prints of her iconic painting Patriot and her NASA commissioned work. Prey’s paintings are in some of the most important collections worldwide including The White House, The Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kennedy Space Center and Tom Hanks. 

She was commissioned by the President of the United States to paint the official White House Holiday Card and by NASA to document space history.  A print of Family Portrait (collection The Brooklyn Museum), as well as two of her most sought after pieces Hydrangeas (Collection Bush Presidential Library) and The Collection will be on display in July. The Collection was selected by the U.S. State Department as the invitation image for every U.S. Ambassador and Embassy worldwide July 4th celebration.  Also included in the exhibit is a selection of small originals offering a preview of her upcoming annual exhibit, showcasing her virtuosic technique, authentic vision and distinctly American style. As Barbara continues her course of creating visually distinct and compelling work, for which she has garnered international recognition, this exhibit explores and highlights a new aspect of her practice rarely seen in her previous exhibitions-her drawings and travel drawings. These works distinctively reflect on Barbara’s early years as a painter as she traveled to Tainan, Taiwan on a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation and her early career as an illustrator for various publications such as The New Yorker, Gourmet and The New York Times. The Prints and Drawing Show illuminates the importance of Prey’s progression as an artist and allows the viewer insight into Prey’s current practice. This is truly a great opportunity to have access to a diverse range of Barbara’s original fine art prints.

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American Contemporary: 40 Years Painting

July 1 - August 31, 2014

American Contemporary is Barbara Preys most recent body of spiritually driven landscapes. Her work encompasses the traditional in a contemporary light.  In this exhibit she explores the depth of the American landscape and her own personal relationship with nature, and illuminates these concepts by using her euphoric color palette and impeccable painting techniques. Her paintings challenge the viewer to step back and take into consideration their own identity, as well as their personal connection to their surroundings. While the work is predominantly American based in subject matter, the aura Prey produces throughout her work can be appreciated on a global scale.  The exhibition proves Preys place as a significant American artist furthering the genre of American driven landscapes.