Blue Water Fine Arts is proud to announce the most recent works by the internationally celebrated artist Barbara Ernst Prey July 21-August 31. “American Contemporary” is Barbara Preys most recent body of spiritually driven landscapes. Her work encompasses the traditional in a contemporary light.</br>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.
As one of the key figures of 21st century landscape painting, 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, the advisory body to the National Endowment for 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. She is adjunct faculty at Williams College Within the exhibition are some of Prey’s most important and distinguished works which deliver not only Preys fine understanding of identity within America, but also her dramatic color palette and intricate brush work. The show also features a new collection of her large-scale works. Her painting Hydrangeas is featured at the new Bush Presidential Library and Center. The approach to the work highlights ones personal reflections on identity through a contemporary American landscape. It allows the viewer to be transported to the moments of dusk in which illuminate the beauty of both nature and man made American architecture.
Another excellent example of Preys haunting work is Meeting House, which invites the viewer to reflect on an interior structure while still allowing a glimpse at nature. An interior of one of the early American meeting houses, this work references light and spirituality in an age of technology. Preys brushwork positively thrives within this piece, her attention to shadow, depth and color 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.” Another highlighted piece is Walking on Water. This stunning work depicts worn fishing boats which have a natural beauty and strength to them while working seamlessly in harmony with nature. The intensity of color within this image illuminates one perception of the ambience around them, while drawing the viewer into the story behind the vessels. The American Contemporary show 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 Corcoran 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.”
Prey was recently honored when NASA commissioned her to paint four paintings for their collection. The x-43, the fastest aircraft in the world, was included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Museum Exhibit NASA|ART: 50 Years at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. NASA invited her to be the artist spokesperson for the exhibit and she was featured on The CBS Evening News. Her other NASA commissions include: The Columbia Tribute, to commemorate the anniversary of the Columbia tragedy; the International Space Station, which is on exhibit with her painting Columbia Tribute at the Kennedy Space Center; and the Shuttle Discovery: Return to Flight. Prey joins an elite group of American artists who have been invited by NASA to document the history of space exploration including Norman Rockwell and Robert Rauschenberg.
Prey is an artistic ambassador for the United States, chosen to participate since 2004 in the United States Arts in Embassies Program. At the U.S. Embassy in Paris she was the only living American painter exhibited with prominent American masters Homer, Ryder and Sargent. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain requested a special exhibit of her paintings for the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Her artwork is on exhibit in many U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide including: Prague, Seoul, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, Bogotá, Mexico City, Athens, Cairo and Rangoon. Prey was honored with the Senate’s “Women of Distinction Award”, a tribute to outstanding New York women. She joins previous honorees Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt. She was invited as “one of the top players in today’s American art world” to moderate the panel Women at the Helm of American Art in New York with Museum of Modern Art Curator Laura Hoptman and Guggenheim Curator Nancy Spector.
As one of the leading artists of her generation, her paintings are included in some of the most important public and private collections around the world including The White House, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Brooklyn Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 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 Reader’s Digest Collection. Her work is owned by private collectors including President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Nobel Laureate Dr. and Mrs. James Watson, Ambassador and Mrs. Craig Stapleton, Prince and Princess Johannes Lobkowicz, Orlando Bloom and Tom Hanks. As a spokesperson for American Art, she was invited to lecture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the Winslow Homer exhibit, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the John Singer Sargent exhibit, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid on American Art and at Dartmouth College. She is an art blogger for The Huffington Post.
Prey graduated from Williams College where she studied with Lane Faison and has a masters degree 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 for her work which enabled her to travel, study and exhibit extensively in Europe and Asia. Prey’s artwork has been featured and discussed in numerous books, publications, radio and television programs including The CBS Evening News, The New Yorker, The New York Times, BBC Worldwide,The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, Newsday, The Boston Globe, CBS Sunday Morning, Larry King Live, PBS, NPR, Paula Zahn Now, CNN News Sunday, AP and Reuters Newswire, The New York Post, Huffington Post, The Daily News, The International Art Newspaper, Harvard Magazine, Artforum, ArtNews, Forbes and NBC’s Extra.
Exhibition: July 19-August 31 Opening Reception: Sunday, August 3 from 6-8 PM
Gallery Location: Main Street, Route 131, Port Clyde, Maine 10am-5pm, and by appointment
For press information and photos: Chelsea Church (516) 316-7477 207-372-8087
PO Box 338, Port Clyde, Maine 04855