The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 19, 2019

CNA Centre national de l'audiovisuel rediscovers the work of the photographer Mary Frey
The exhibition carries us away to a small town in the west of Massachusetts, to the America of the 1970s and 80s. © Mary Frey.

DUDELANGE .- An important oeuvre in the history of US American photography is currently being rediscovered. After being shown for the first time in Europe at the Forum für Fotografie in Cologne, the work of the photographer Mary Frey is now displayed at the Centre national de l‘audiovisuel in Dudelange. It carries us away to a small town in the west of Massachusetts, to the America of the 1970s and 80s. Even at first glance we can see how the pictures reflect Frey’s artistic debate with the trailblazers of American photography.

In 1991, Peter Galassi curated an exhibition entitled "Pleasures and terrors of domestic comfort" at MoMA in New York. Today, the catalogue for the MoMA exhibition reads like a compendium of the New American Photography. All the photographers who took part are leading names of very high artistic standing. Philip-Lorca diCorcia, William Eggleston, Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Tina Barney, Joel Sternfeld, Nicholas Nixon, Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore, Larry Sultan, Robert Adams, Larry Fink, Sally Man and … Mary Frey.

As a university teacher, Mary Frey inspired several generations of students between 1979 and 2015 at the Hartford Art School. While she did take part in several individual and group exhibitions in the USA after the exhibition at MoMA, following the birth of her child she cut down her public presence on the art market in favour of her family and her teaching work.

Only when she stopped teaching three years ago did she become interested again in putting her work up for public debate. At a workshop run by the Hartford Art School Connecticut in Berlin, she met the publisher Hannes Wanderer, of Peperoni Books. It was thanks to Hannes Wanderer that the Forum für Fotografie in Cologne and the CNA made contact with Mary Frey’s work. In 2017, Peperoni Books brought out Reading Raymond Carver, using Mary Frey's black-and-white photographs from the years 1979 to 1983, which had first appeared under the working title Domestic Rituals. The book was a success; soon after its publication, it was nominated in 2017, as one of the shortlisted titles for the "Best First Photobook" award presented by Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation, and a second edition soon followed. In September 2018, Peperoni Books published Mary Frey's second book, Real Life Dramas.

Frey's artistic purpose is to question the process by which photographic documentary records are produced. The apparently spontaneous scenes that she depicts are, in fact, the carefully staged product of a deliberately conceptual approach“. Mary Frey said herself that her intention is to "question the nature of photographic truth while using the iconography of middle-class customs to comment on societal values and systems".

In both of these groups of works Mary Frey takes a conceptual approach to the family portrait, presenting members of her own family and also friends and acquaintances from her neighbourhood and the local area going about their everyday tasks and meeting up together.

The fascination of these harmless everyday scenes derives mainly from the detailed accuracy with which they are depicted and from the vivid, intimate atmosphere in which the actions are taking place. The prosaic ordinariness of the scenes gives the observer the feeling that they are actually taking part in whatever is going on. The casualness and familiarity that emanate from the images draw us in so that we unquestioningly accept the scenarios as convincing.

In keeping with her premise that "a photograph shows us what we know, yet contains its own fiction", Frey subjects the photographic image to close scrutiny with regard to pre-existing ideas about the meaning and truth that are inherent in photography.

Today's News

July 16, 2019

McNay Art Museum highlights the Native American experience in new exhibition

Code-breaker Turing to appear on new UK bank note

As Bauhaus marks 100 years, Tel Aviv's White City stands tall

Renowned art dealer Ira Spanierman passes away at age 90

Baltimore Museum of Art reinstalls contemporary collection galleries with new view

Hundreds of iconic guitars owned by Steely Dan's Walter Becker to be offered at Julien's Auctions

New exhibition showcases 150 pieces of Russia's most opulent art from the 18th and 19th centuries

CNA Centre national de l'audiovisuel rediscovers the work of the photographer Mary Frey

The de Young opens the first museum retrospective for renowned tattoo icon Ed Hardy

Hyman Bloom exhibition at MFA Boston explores artist's search for inner truth through gripping images of life and death

Peabody Essex Museum details opening of its new $125M wing

Celebrated Los Angeles artist Helen Pashgian debuts new works at Vito Schnabel Gallery St. Mortiz

Kohler Arts Center taps Shannon Stratton as interim curator

"Shine A Light" exhibition debuts at Descanso Gardens

MKM Museum Küppersmühle of Modern Art opens Till Brönner's most comprehensive exhibition to date

Timeless classics among films featured in Heritage Auctions' Vintage Posters Auction

Exhibition explores sculpture and self in the age of computer generated imagery

Greater Reston Arts Center opens a group exhibition featuring nine artists

Lois Lambert opens an exhibition of works by Pablo Bordón

Climate change threatens Greenland's archeological sites: study

P·P·O·W to represent Hilary Harkness

New exhibition at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts explores sound as an artistic medium

The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art announces departure of founding Director Bernice Chu

Public Art Fund continues ambitious growth

Bitcoin Trading on the Go: What Makes a Perfect Exchange App?

10 Tips on How to Photograph Flowers Indoor

Headsets for working artist studio

Best hair transplant tips and tricks

How to Write a Book in 7 steps

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful