MaDora Frey

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What is my work about?

My recent work is a series of light sculptures in which I combine drawings with reflective surfaces and light. An infinite, luminous geography results, one that changes dramatically depending on the viewer’s vantage point.

The work is inspired by my relationship with disparate places—the rural natural setting of my upbringing and the chaotic city where I now live. I regard each with a sense of wonderment and see them as sharing systems and patterns. Visual and material vocabulary of the work is derived from both of these environments—the organic forms of the drawings are interrupted, multiplied and fused with that of the man-made. In this, the work is a psychological landscape, attempting to reconcile two seemingly dissimilar forces. It also touches on broader questions regarding the tenuous relationship that exists between the natural and artificial world.


Artist Statement

The ten­u­ous rela­tion­ship that exists between what is usu­ally con­sid­ered nat­ural ver­sus that which is arti­fi­cial and the sub­se­quent syn­the­sis of these ele­ments are ongo­ing explo­rations in my work.

In the visual arts, “Nature” is most often depicted as that which is untouched by the hand of man. My work extends the def­i­n­i­tion of NATURE to all things, includ­ing the man-made world, and con­se­quently regards it with the same sense of won­der­ment. Work­ing in series in a wide range of media, var­i­ous hybrids of this syn­the­sis and won­der­ment are cre­ated in my work. The approach may be com­bin­ing organic materials and approaches with industrial materials, as with my drawings and light sculptures. Or it might be iden­ti­fy­ing and employ­ing shared phys­i­cal and visual pat­terns, as with the machine series, which you can see examples of on my website.

In my recent work, I have been making light sculptures that are a synthesis of drawings, glass mirror, and light.

Drawings are created with liq­uid graphite and a plas­tic com­pos­ite paper. Visu­ally and mate­ri­ally, they con­flate the lan­guage of pho­tog­ra­phy, draw­ing, and paint­ing. To avoid con­trol­ling the image too much, brushes are rarely used. When the graphite pud­dles, it appears reflective—capitalizing on its min­eral qual­i­ties. When watered down, it crawls across a sur­face, sep­a­rat­ing and leav­ing behind inci­den­tal pat­terns. By allow­ing the mate­ri­als to move freely and col­lab­o­rate with one another, these images, sug­ges­tive of nascent land­scapes or aer­ial per­spec­tives, can almost be seen to gen­er­ate themselves.

Glass as a material is preferred for its architectural association and it’s resistance and cold quality, compared to other materials such as acrylic. This speaks of my affinity for an element of conflict in my work.

Similarly, I prefer working with cooler colors of LED lights, which are reminiscent of light found in commercial spaces, subways and factories.


2002      New York Academy of Art, MFA, Magna Cum Laude Nyc NY

2000      Florence Academy of Art, Florence IT

1993      Auburn University, BFA, Drawing and Printmaking concentration, Auburn AL


Selected Solo Exhibitions
“Renegade”, New York Academy of Art Gallery, Nyc NY

“The Calling”, Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle WA


Selected Group Exhibitions
“Enchanted”, Gallery ELL, curated by Melissa Staiger (forthcoming)

“From New York with Love”, Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
“No Sleep Til Berlin”, Rhombus Space Pop-up, Mitte Berlin Germany
Momenta Benefit, Brooklyn NY
“Arts in Bushwick”, Storefront Bushwick
“Family Ties”, Gallery 500x, Dallas TX
“Heavy Metal”, Rhombus Space, Brooklyn, NY
“Just Mad6 Art Fair”, represented by TSA Gallery, Madrid Spain
“Good Morning Midnight”, Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark NJ (ongoing)
“New Work City”, Momenta Art, Brooklyn NY

“Good Morning Midnight”, Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark NJ
“Trestle Winter Show”, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Featured Artist, Winter Issue, The Account Journal
“Flat Files Artists Exhibiton”, TSA Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Hrönir: Un-Lost Things”, Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Exchange Rates International Art Exhibition”, Arts in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY
“The Search”, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“The Good the Bad the Ugly”, Local Project, LIC NY
“Itness”, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“(wo)manorial”, Online Exhibition
“A Human Extension”, Lodge Gallery, Nyc NY

“Curate NYC”, curated by Sarah Newman, director of Contemporary Art at the Corcoran Museum
“Curate NYC”, curated by Sherry Dobbins, director of Public Art for the Times Square Alliance
Machine Show”, Hawkeye Crates, Brooklyn NY
“Collectively Assembled”, Arts@Renaissance, Brooklyn
“Quantum Effect”, Active Space Gallery, Brooklyn NY

“Color Shift”, Billboard Projects, Atlanta GA
“Reflection”, Space Womb Gallery, Queens NY
“Wildlife in the Post-natural Age”, Brooklyn Historical Society, curated by Cara DeAngelis, Brooklyn NY
“Tell Me Now”, Grand Projects, Nyc NY
“(Re)production”, Grand Projects Nyc NY

“Tart: Year 8”, Arts Renaissance Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Wish You Were Here”, Air Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Sketchbook Project”, Brooklyn Art Library, Austin Museum of Art, Space Gallery, Portland ME, Madrone Studios, San Francisco CA
Form/Space Atelier, Seattle WA
“Winter Exhibition”, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT
“Chain Mail”, Shoshanna Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica CA

“Draw”, Mexico City Museo del Ciudad de Mexico
“Wish You Were Here”, A.I.R. gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art”, The Kitchen, Whitney ISP, Nyc NY
“tART at AIR”, Air Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Single Fare”, WTA projects, Brooklyn, NY
“New Work from Emerging Artists”, 3rd ward gallery, Brooklyn NY

“tART at AIR”, AIR Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“Protean Body”, Medialia Gallery, Nyc NY
“Draw”, Shooting Gallery, San Francisco CA

“The Draw Show Tour”, Stolen Space Gallery, London BR
“Summer Salon”, Rabbit Hole Gallery, Brooklyn NY

“New York Academy of Art Summer Exhibition”, Nyc NY
“Untitled Love Project”, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA
“Draw Tour”, Gallery Lomabardi, curated by Erik Foss and Curse Mackey, Austin TX
“First Annual Contemporary Art International”, Salmagundi Club, Nyc NY

“666”, Gallery de Jesus, Los Angeles CA
“Drawing Show”, Fuse Gallery, Nyc NY
“Undertow ll”, Roq la Rue, Seattle WA
“Undertow”, Aidan Savoy Gallery, Nyc NY
“Alumni Exhibition”, New York Academy of Art, Nyc NY

“The Woods”, DFN Gallery, Nyc NY
“Animal Tales”, DFN Gallery, Nyc NY

“Innocence Found”, DFN Gallery, Nyc NY
“Skies and Scapes”, DFN Gallery, Nyc NY
“Theatre of Selfhood”, Eyedrum Gallery, curated by Jerry Cullum, Atlanta GA

“Space Invaders”, Fish Tank Gallery, Brooklyn NY
“SGF Project”, SGF Project Space, Atlanta GA
New American Painting, Exhibition in Print, Edition 46

B Complex Gallery, Atlanta GA
Thesis exhibition, New York Academy of Art, Nyc NY

Vox Populi gallery, Philadelphia PA
“Soho Myriad 25th Anniversary Auction”, Art Papers, Atlanta GA


Awards / Grants / Fellowships / Lectures
Marble House Project, Fellowship Recipient

Elkmont Residency, Falkville AL

Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT
Hunter College, City University of New York, Visiting Artist Nyc NY

Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT

Ford Foundation Emerging Artist Finalist

Hunter College, City University of New York, Visiting Artist, Nyc NY

Runart Program, Rutgers University, Visiting Artist, Newark NJ

Auburn University, Visiting Artist, Auburn AL

Prince of Wales Fellowship, Normandy FR

Scholarship Award, New York Academy of Art, Nyc NY


Publications / Bibliography

Art Fag City, “This Week’s Must-See”, TSA Flatfiles Show, November 10, 2014

Blackbook Magazine online, “Ones to Watch”, November 2014

Featured Artist, Winter Issue, The Account Journal

Huffington post, “Wildlife in the Post-natural Age” review, by Daniel Maidman

Art Info, “From Tom Sachs to Richard Prince, Top Ten things to do in New York”, On the Ground

“Loose Change Literary Magazine”, monthly featured artist, June 2011, vol. 1, issue 3, 2010, “Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art”

“NYFA, august 2010, “headlines: tart at air gallery”

New American Painting, Exhibition in Print, Edition 46

Black Book Magazine, July 3, 2008, Rohin Guha, “Sweet Tarts Go Down the Rabbit Hole”

Contemporary, Sept 2003, Krenz, Marcel. “Space Invaders: Six Painters and Two Sculptors Reconstructing Representation.”

The Stranger, dec 28 – jan 3, 2007, Jen Graves, “The Hidden Painters Who Insist on Mystery at        Roq la Rue”

Atlanta journal and constitution, March 2003, Felicia Feaster, “Theater of Selfhood”


“A-Side/B-Side”, Rhombus Space, Brooklyn, NY

“Art Tlk”, The Conversation Channel, hosted by Pharrell Williams

“Tell Me Now”, Grand Projects Nyc NY

“Summer Salon”, Rabbit Hole Gallery, Brooklyn NY


2013      Teaching Fellowship, Art Camp, Ages 6-12 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT

2012      Professor, Introduction to Drawing and Design, LIM College, New York, NY

Intern Host, New York, NY

2010     Assistant Professor, Advanced Sculpture and Drawing, New York Academy of Art

2006      Professor, Traditional Oil Painting Techniques, Abbey Road International Program, Florence Italy

Intern Host, New York, NY

1993      Curriculum Designer and Instructor for Summer Art Camp, Ages 6-8 and ages 8-11, City of Auburn Recreation, Auburn AL

2006-2013 Community Outreach, tART Collective, New York, NY


Professional Organizations

2014-present     MAW Art Collective

2012-present     Future Present Creative Assembly, Founding Member

2006-present     tART Collective




Work held in numerous private collections