Linden Frederick: Night Stories, a multidisciplinary exhibition of fifteen new paintings and original short fiction.
The exhibition, Night Stories, and the accompanying book, have been eight years in the making. When artist Linden Frederick (b. 1953) realized a growing number of his collectors are novelists and screenwriters, he wondered what would happen if the writer-illustrator relationship were reversed: the painting first, then the writing. The result is Night Stories. Fifteen celebrated American fiction writers each agreed to select one painting especially created by Frederick as inspiration and then, over the following months, write a unique story inspired by it.
A native of Amsterdam, New York, Linden Frederick’s paintings are celebrated for their evocative light and atmosphere. Compared favorably to Edward Hopper’s American scene paintings, Frederick’s contemporary works suggest the human presence without depicting it, allowing the viewer to complete the narrative.
Frederick has lived and worked in Belfast, Maine since 1989. He has had more than twenty solo exhibitions of his work throughout the United States, including the exhibition You Are Here, held at CMCA in Rockport, in 2010.
A roster of America’s most renowned, celebrated, and honored authors were invited by Linden Frederick to write a work of short fiction inspired by one of fifteen paintings in Night Stories.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Night Stories: Fifteen Paintings and the Stories they Inspired is an innovative concept and unique presentation. Fine art painter Linden Frederick created 15 paintings and enlisted and inspired noted writers to create accompanying stories. Renowned authors as diverse and talented as Elizabeth Strout, Ann Patchett, Anthony Doerr, Richard Russo and Lawrence Kasdan, among others, have contributing to expanding the artists' world with their tales, as varied and captivating as the artworks themselves.
From concept to realization, Night Stories has been nine years in the making. Finding his work collected by a growing number of authors/screenwriters/playwrights, artist Linden Frederick wondered why they connected so strongly to his work. So he asked, beginning with a conversation with local writer and friend, Richard Russo. His conversations then extended to the other literary figures whose work is included in this book: Luanne Rice, Lois Lowry, Andre Dubus III, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Patchett, Anthony Doerr, Tess Gerritsen, Ted Tally, Lily King, Dennis Lehane, Joshua Ferris, Daniel Woodrell, Louise Erdrich, and Lawrence Kasdan. Each had a unique response, and each agreed to write a short story to accompany one of Frederick's paintings.
Frederick is an artist whose work is rooted in small-town America, work that has sometimes been described as "stage sets," and that has provoked the imagination of some of the most important talents of the day. These writers have here commented on Frederick's art in the genre they know best, storytelling. Unlike any other book by a contemporary fine artist, this unique and compelling collection is the best of what a book can be: a perfect entertainment that combines visual and written art offered up by a collaboration of some of the greatest talents in each field.