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Collaborations: Sam Messer with Jonathan Safran Foer and Denis Johnson

June 18 – July 31, 2015

Press Release

Collaborations: Sam Messer with Jonathan Safran Foer and Denis Johnson

June 18 through July 31, 2015

Opening reception: Thursday, June 18 from 5 to 7pm


Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to announce an exhibition of collaborations by the artist Sam Messer with the writers Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals) and Denis Johnson (Tree of Smoke, Jesus’ Son).


Sam Messer has been collaborating with writers since 1982 when he first met Denis Johnson. Their current conversation is an animated video of Johnson’s story Denis the Pirate. Messer animated 1,117 hand-colored etchings and 17 drawings to depict the dreamlike journey of Denis’ eponymous pirate.  The video is shot in stop-motion which was inspired by Messer’s recent experience designing the prototype for the Watchers in Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH and advising the transformation of his sculpture into a multi-million dollar computer animation. The actor Liev Schreiber narrates Denis the Pirate

while Sarah Neufeld of The Arcade Fire and Colin Stetson score the film. The exhibition will also include many of the hand-colored etchings and drawings.


Messer and Foer have been working collaboratively since meeting in 2001. This exhibition includes their drawings and prints as well as Messer’s portraits of the writer. Foer’s book Eating Animals, which was dedicated to Messer, is the basis for one of the paintings.  The exhibition also includes their most recent work in which Messer’s graphics and Foer’s original text are interwoven.


Fredericks & Freiser is located at 536 West 24th Street, New York, NY. Our summer hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 5pm. For more information, please contact us by phone (212) 633 6555 or email, and visit us online at, and on Instagram @fredericksandfreiser.