Linden Frederick in his Maine studio
Linden Frederick in his Maine studio.
- April, 2013 video interview at Haynes Gallery, Nashville, TN
“The quality of light, color and technique Linden Frederick employs in his highly skilled oil paintings of rural settings has more than once been compared to the work of Edward Hopper. Not many contemporary artists who regularly show in New York are still dedicated landscape painters in oil. This one is for art students, who will no doubt learn a thing or two about painting here.”
- Alanna Martinez, review of "Night Life" at Forum Gallery,
New York Observer, October, 2014

"Frederick's highly skilled paintings of typical American houses, buildings and man-made environments portray a society and some of its inner contradictions without featuring a single figure. Atmosphere, lighting, scale, composition, color and subject (and its level of disrepair) bring the point across. Frederick's images are infused with empathy that is, however, tinged with a little irony and humor of an intensely staged kind. Frederick wants to merely imply people's stories. His paintings are inhabited by American culture, as it were, thus leaving entry points for identification open."
- Britta Konau: "art current" - Review of "Linden Frederick: Untold Stories" at Haynes Galleries, Nashville and Maine ~ The Free Press, July, 2013

“Frederick does not work from photographs, which might account for the remarkable depth of feeling he is able to draw out of rather ordinary landscapes...and [his] astute sense of composition keep[s] them from hackneyed sentimentality. The influence of Edward Hopper is evident. In all of the works, the warm glow from nighttime windows, the last hazy streaks of light on the horizon, and even the buzz of red taillights evoke the romance of small-town America, while remaining grounded in a present that is deeply and eternally human.”
- Sharon Mizota, ARTnews, January, 2013

“Another painter in the show who has been successful in New York is Linden Frederick. His small and tight night scene on a wharf makes it clear why that's the case. His technique is phenomenal, and his vision is just creepy enough to add the right amount of narrative tension. Nothing is missing from the scene per se, but there is just enough electricity to hold you in a state of liminal excitement. Rather than a movie still, it's more like a scene from a gripping novel.”
- Daniel Kany, Maine Sunday Telegram,
“Greenhut's Portland Show Presents Expansive View”, March, 2012

“Linden Frederick is a master of painting quiet, low-light landscapes that hint of unseen humans, both remembered and expected. In snow, sunsets, trailers, old motels, a turquoise house, nocturnal waters, trees, highway rest stops, shadow and light in all manner of manifestation, there is always a juxtaposition of restlessness and stability, strength and fragility, mystery and beauty. There is, however, nothing simple about Frederick's paintings as he continues to make the hard choices that create real work about a real world.

‘What drives me is having a certain mood and that implies a human element, which a lot of landscape painting forgets. My work is not about place. It really is about people. I think inadvertently I'm setting some kind of stage so the drama can play out within the viewer. And that's why people react.’ ”
- Annaliese Jakimides, Bangor Metro
  "Between Dusk and Dawn", Oct/Nov, 2011

Maine Home + Design - May 2011
Maine Home + Design - May 2011
"Linden Frederick has a distinct and immediately recognizable style. In his view, a scene can be compelling for a variety of reasons: the subject matter evokes memories, the colors are in harmonious arrangement, or the composition is visually arresting. A hallmark of his home paintings is the suggested, but never represented, presence of inhabitants through illuminated windows and television screens, for example...The drama of human relations is transposed from interior living spaces onto outer manifestations of intimacy and association."
- Britta Konau, Maine Home + Design
  "The Canvas: Being On the Other Side", May 2011

"Linden Frederick's twilight-scapes [exhibited at Forum Gallery, NYC] evoked the emotive, ghostly stillness of Edward Hopper paintings by way of the Precisionist touch of Charles Sheeler's tight, pencil-ruled American modernist industrial landscapes.

In Gate (2009), the photographer Todd Hido comes to mind via the orange street-lamp-soaked house that echoes the effects of a photographic recording of artificial illumination. The amorphous play of light and shadow and interlocking positive and negative space between a sky at dusk and trees at the fall of night in Right of Way (2010) recall Fairfield Porter's Southampton yards.

It was the specific depictions of atmostphere through light and color that made this exhibition visually indulgent."
- Greg Lindquist, ARTnews, February, 2011

American Art Collector - November 2010 - Cover
American Art Collector - November 2010 - Cover
"When I asked Linden the direct question, "Why night?" he was ready with a characteristically thoughtful answer. He described the sensation of early evening as one of melancholy and apprehension and recalled music composed in a minor key that is elegiac and moody. His visceral reaction to the time of day is something he strives to capture in his paintings and he knows that if he can recreate that response when he looks at the painting, others will respond as well. He hopes all viewers of his work have a 'sense of recognition' when they look at his paintings."
- John O'Hern, American Art Collector, November 2010

"Linden Frederick does not populate his paintings with people. But as surely as the sun sets each night, his paintings are portraits... Frederick's paintings convey mood and tell stories. Some are short stories and some are novels, but all are pictures of well-trodden lives.

To the casual observer, Frederick's work presents itself as Realism, which to some degree is an accurate description. But his paintings go much deeper than realistic portrayals of everyday scenes. Frederick is keenly interested in the stories behind the scenes that he paints. His paintings are rarely as they appear on the surface, and usually are full of subtext.

It's probably not surprising that writers and filmmakers are fans of Frederick and his paintings. His work is lyrical, brimming with narration and mystery... [it] is multi-faceted. It is rich in detail, and also swimming in what is not there and what we must fill in with our imaginations."
- Bob Keyes, Maine Sunday Telegram, May 2009

"Linden Frederick is a precision realist painter, yet his exactitude strikes me as truth, a personal truth, a 21st century romanticism that elevates mundane scenes of Maine into the realm of poetic illusion. The places Frederick chooses to paint are not in and of themselves naturally beautiful, but in often painting them at twilight or night he imparts a sense of Hopper-esque loneliness and loveliness that is more a matter of his own poetic sensibility than of anything inherent in what he is looking at. He also tends to paint human landscapes devoid of human figures such that the human presence is a function both of the lights radiating from within buildings and of the viewer ("You Are Here") looking upon the scene."
- Edgar Allen Beem, Yankee Magazine, May 2008 review of Linden Frederick - YOU ARE HERE: Studies and Paintings, CMCA, Rockport, Maine, April - July, 2009

"Setting a situational stage, Frederick gives us enough information to complete the scene according to our own experience, associations, and feelings. It has been frequently noted that many of Frederick's paintings are dawn or dusk scenes. The concomitant stillness and calm seem suspended in time, and, given Frederick's deep connection to music, it may be valid to think of his works as having an association with both music and time. Immersed in one of his paintings, we sense that something just happened and still lingers, like the sound of music we still hear long after the last note has been struck."
- Britta Konau, Excerpt from an essay for Linden Frederick - YOU ARE HERE: Studies and Paintings, April, 2009

"[Linden Frederick's] work's effect on the viewer is burnished by his oil technique, but the technique serves as underpinning to, rather than as the point of, his art: Everything painterly in his paintings is subsumed in fealty to the power of reality - a reality that is uniquely his, but also uniquely American.

Paintings like Frederick's not only elevate the ordinary, they affix our gaze on the intense beauty at the heart of everyday existence, and evoke, at the same time, a kind of retrospective wonder for what we've seen a thousand times and overlooked."
- Michael Antman, PopMatters
click here for the entire posting

"[Linden Frederick's paintings] are the most unusual applications of realism to common ordinary everyday subjects that I can recall, and definitely the first time I've seen such an approach so consistently pursued... What I'm talking about is the fact that most of his paintings are set in twilight. Any subject can be represented this way... but one major thing that draws me in (besides his highly accomplished, at times masterful technique) is his choice of subjects. It looks to me like Mr. Frederick and I grew up and have traveled through life in some very similar surroundings. I mean, these images could all have been lifted right out of my memory banks. He's tapped into my demographic, I guess you could say."
- Albert Decker- Resonant Enigma
click here for the entire posting

mhd_cover08 "... Linden Frederick is one of the foremost painters of America's byways, highways, and backyards. He can make the humblest objects or places... resonate with mystery... and is a poet of the overlooked. The painter also has a passion for dusk. His ability to capture the most subtle gradations of twilight using oil paints is remarkable."
- Carl Little, Maine Home + Design, April 2008
click to download the article [pdf ~1.0mb]

"On a recent drive through the countryside, I kept recalling a group of paintings by the artist Linden Frederick at Forum (from his show there called "Memoir"). These are the most eloquent distillations I have ever seen of a certain rural experience - that of an outsider wondering what it might feel like to live "here". Frederick's viewpoint is liminal in all respects. His modest sublime has roots in Edward Hopper and, in the quality of light especially, the Hudson River School."

- Faye Hirsch, Review (excerpts)
Art in America, April 2005.

"In these paintings, inspired by memory, Frederick links the imagination and the past so as to celebrate the world's obstinate there-ness and simultaneously give evidence of our vital relation to it. He shows us that seeing more is better than seeing less, and assures us that art is good for this purpose.

There's always a sweet moment...when I, and probably anyone, first sees a Linden Frederick painting, incandescent and full of dense experience and vivid longing - a moment when we say, "Yes! There's life, exactly. He got it. It's amazing." And the truth is, he did get it, and it is amazing, and life's certainly that way.

This is a painter in charge of his choices, working at the sheer edge of what he knows, at the breathtaking and exacting point at which his great abilities, sympathies and large intentions perfectly elide. This is heady, humane and irresistible work simply to stand and see. And when I stand ad see it I always feel the same: how lucky am I to have this in life."
- Richard Ford, Excerpts from an essay for Memoir, 2004

"Linden Frederick is one of those intrepid souls willing to report the true condition of how we live today. He bravely goes where few of his cohorts dare to even steal a glance. The mood of desolation he captures is palpable and in some ways even gorgeous. Often a light is burning somewhere in or around the subject to remind us that inside dwells the remnant of a human spirit."

- James Howard Kunstler, Overlooked Landscapes
Orion, July/August, 2004.

"The works in this show, American Nights, are exquisite testaments to the enduring optimism of small-town America. In painting after painting, Frederick distills the essence of the physical and emotional atmosphere, creating poignant portraits of time and place.

Much has been written of the quality of light in Linden Frederick's paintings. It is a tangible presence; it establishes the mood, illuminates important details, and evokes a human presence. In a recent review, The New Yorker wrote of Frederick's work, "There are painterly precedents for scenes of such vital loneliness, but the literary echoes are stronger - Steinbeck, McCullers, or Richard Ford." .... we also think of the songs of Woody Guthrie.... the industrial landscapes of Charles Sheeler and other earlier painters who both celebrated and lamented the development of America.

Despite his love of beauty and the poetic, Frederick is not a romanticist. He is a realist who revels in what he sees. That he sees with more clarity than most of us is to our gain."
- Suzette Lane McAvoy, Excerpt from an essay for American Nights, 2002

"Dusk - that time of day when dark and light blend together together into a hybrid of shades, shapes and emotions - can be unsettling. It can also be a time of relaxation and reflection. Both emotions are apt when Linden Frederick creates dusk with his paints. The ultimate effect of his nightscapes of quintessential American towns and structures is to capture not so much a place as a feeling.

What those feelings turn out to be is up to each viewer who takes in Frederick's work... You may find yourself longing for a time past when things were simpler (or so it seemed), or for that corner barbershop where Ed would happily chat away with you while he clipped, or for a place to stop for the night on your way from somewhere to nowhere, or nowhere to somewhere. On a 40-in-square canvas Frederick tells you the history of a place and the people in that place. Actually, you'll have to write the history, but he'll give you enough information to fill in the blanks.

Frederick's canon includes paintings of isolated barns, nearly deserted streets, dying minimalls and small-town barbershops, all devoid of human figures but full of life. While the places in his paintings do exist, he alters them slightly by playing with the light to give them a magical, or mysterious, feeling. First he does considerable foundation building, repeatedly visiting a site and taking photographs at a different times of the day. He doesn't put people into the works because he figures the viewer will do that.

'When there is a figure in a painting, the painting becomes about the person. That's unavoidable,' he explained. 'If you don't put people in it, if you just suggest them...the viewer becomes curious about looking further.'

If you're the type who likes to look into a painting, or a room, or down a street and see what's what right away, Frederick's art may not be for you. But if you like to stroll the streets at night and look up at a well-lit window and wonder what's going on in there, his American Nights exhibit will be right up your alley."

- Santa Fe New Mexican (excerpts), 10/11/2002 by Robert Nott.

"Linden Frederick seems most at home on the road. The roadside America he depicts - gas stations, railroad yards, drive-ins, motels, isolated houses and barns - appears relentlessly ordinary at first glance, but this extraordinary painter finds its potential poetry. His subjects are Hopperesque, yet his vision less bleak. Light is the transfiguring agent...and Frederick communicates a reticent tenderness for man-made structures and by extension, for their largely unseen inhabitants.

Although he was trained at the Ontario College of Art and the Academia de Belle Arte in Florence, no one would mistake Frederick for anything but an American. His point of view suggests the independence, freedom and often loneliness that comes with American individuality. Unlike the sometimes voyeuristic Hopper, Frederick keeps his distance, rarely getting close enough to look inside the buildings he depicts. At the same time he cannot be characterized principally as a landscapist, like Goerge Inness. Frederick's territory - physically and psychologically - lies between urban and rural; his chosen genre is poised between landscape and cityscape. The sense of a lingering human presence complicates his landscapes, which fully acknowledge the power and beauty of nature. The simple forms of vernacular architecture - and the occasional presence of proprietary signs on boxcars and store windows - shoulds be overwhelmed by the sky, yet somehow they co-exist and thrive, thanks to this artist's painterly grace and special way of reconfiguring the relationship visually."

- American Arts Quarterly, Fall 2002

"These canvases train the eye for the moody tricks of color at dusk. Big skies dwarf unpeopled landscapes that nevertheless hum with fond detail: the lights of a town almost hidden on the horizon, the lime reflection of a laundromat in a parking-lot puddle, the gradations of shadow on a rutted gravel road. There are painterly precendents for scenes of such vital loneliness, but the literary echoes are stronger - Steinbeck, McCullers, or Richard Ford."

- The New Yorker, November 29, 1999

"Bathed in a gloomy combination of natural and artificial light, Linden Frederick's oil paintings reconstruct a world easily recognized but often overlooked. When Frederick talks about the American landscape, he doesn't mention rolling hills intersected by rushing streams or marked with maple trees. The scenes that interest this Maine-based painter are those that embody today's rural America - a country defined by its mobile society and the everyday places people live and work."

-American Artist, March 1999

Linden Frederick in his Maine studio
Linden Frederick's workspace within his Maine studio.

"It is the ordinary that catches Linden Frederick's eye, and in his studio he turns the commonplace into the archetypal. Light, especially the transition between day and night, is what this artist explores in his Belfast studio. 'I love the mood at dusk. It's a magic hour when inside and outside lights are very similar. It's the time of day when people are coming home and the lights come on, and I try to translate that mood into a visual image.'

Does he ever paint people? 'Never,' he replies, but insists his work is all about people indirectly."

- Down East, August 1996

"Frederick's subject matter tends to go against the picturesque New England landscape tradition. He is drawn to the nondescript places one passes all the time without taking them in.

Frederick's palette can be moody. Eschewing the easy theatrics of latter-day Romantics and the sere realism of Wyeth, this artist wields a live brush. Frederick renders the landscape with great skill and a good deal of daring."

- Art in America, May 1996