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Jeremy Frey: Woven

Exhibition

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Delicate, intricate, and sinuous—the vessels that Jeremy Frey weaves from the heavy lumber of ash trees are astonishing to behold.

Born in 1978 and raised in the Passamaquoddy Indian Township Reservation in Maine, Frey descends from a long line of esteemed basket weavers and draws on his heritage for the vocabulary of his works. At the same time, he radically innovates within these long-standing forms and techniques to masterfully sculpt objects with unprecedented complexity and elegance.


Jeremy Frey

The Art Institute of Chicago. Mrs. Leonard S. Florsheim Jr. Fund; purchased with funds provided by the bequest of Fred E. Spreitzer

Jeremy Frey: Woven—a midcareer retrospective of the artist’s work—includes more than 50 baskets Frey has crafted over the last two decades. These pieces chart his development as an artist dedicated to expanding and elaborating the possibilities of traditional Passamaquoddy basket weaving. An artist’s artist, Frey continually, meticulously, and systematically redefines his practice to imaginative and unexpected ends. His works explore the potential of shapes, textures, and layered colors within the parameters of weaving. Many of the pieces additionally feature images intricately embroidered with dyed porcupine quills. Frey has recently experimented with using his baskets as a matrix for printmaking, as well as creating his first time-based-media work—both of which are included in this presentation.

The first museum exhibition of the artist’s work, Jeremy Frey: Woven showcases both the time-honored art form of Passamaquoddy basketmaking and the way Frey has transformed it into something uniquely—exquisitely—his own.

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Loon, 2020


Jeremy Frey


Collection of Catherine Stiefel, California. © Jeremy Frey. Photograph by Eric Stoner

Jeremy Frey: Woven is organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

The exhibition was curated by Ramey Mize, associate curator of American art, Portland Museum of Art, Maine, and Jamie DeSimone, chief curator at the Farnsworth Art Museum. Penobscot basket maker and founding director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance Theresa Secord served as a cultural consultant for the exhibition. 

The presentation at the Art Institute of Chicago is organized by Andrew Hamilton, associate curator, Arts of the Americas.

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Sponsors


This exhibition is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

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