Linden Frederick takes us on a drive through small towns with empty main streets, past trailer parks and abandoned gas stations, or small suburban houses illuminated by the flickering lights of television screens. The images roll by—if we blink we might miss them—like frames in a movie, familiar somehow, vividly calling to mind images from other drives,other places. These are places that evoke within us a palpable but indescribable sense of longing, but they are gone in an instant, flashing by. Frederick stops the car, and fixes our attention for a moment on the places he wants us to see, giving us access to otherwise intimate spaces and private worlds. But there’s no voyeurism at work here, Frederick has a way of tapping into our subconscious, merging imagination with memory. In the moments that we stand in front of his pictures, we see ordinary places and objects transformed into scenes of beauty. We stop. And we look again.

Framed by expansive and expressive skies, his paintings of homes, trailer parks, and motels capture an intense atmosphere of solitude,reminiscent of the work of Edward Hopper. The highways and byways throughout Maine and beyond provide a palette for Frederick’s work. Vernacular architecture, roadside attractions, desolate highways, and seasonal skies provide us with a moody foundation from which we weave our own stories. His titles hint at his motivation for capturing a particular scene, but he leaves it to us to create a fuller narrative. And, the geometry of his buildings, the site lines of telephone poles, highways, and horizons create an elegant sense of abstraction while retaining the elements of realism.

LindenFrederick: Roadside Talesis generously supported by Melinda and Ted Tally.