Peter Frederiksen


Peter Frederiksen champions the art of embroidery. Throughout his exploration of the medium, the artist has developed a free-motion machine technique, commonly working on a standard sewing machine that has been altered by removing the presser foot and lowering the feed teeth, allowing Frederiksen to engage tension while moving an embroidery hoop around freely. The result is dense embroidery stitched onto linen canvas, which is then stretched onto a wooden panel as a nod to traditional painting. Described by the artist as “drawing with a sewing machine,” Frederiksen produces scenes with subtle gradients and uniform textures that closely resemble colored pencil drawings when viewed from a distance. The nostalgic, soft-edged scenes are born from the artist’s love of cartoons (notably post-war Warner Brothers and the Simpsons) and come together through a fervent editing process.  Beginning with screenshots taken from old cartoons, often focusing on the smallest of elements while featuring as much action as possible, Frederiksen crops, edits and adds additional details, be it from other cartoons, eclectic designs or abstract images, before tracing, sketching and eventually stitching his creations onto linen. 


The artist places great importance on the titles of his work, often giving the title as much thought as the image itself. His titles can be ciphers, descriptors, or sometimes just something that he considers humorous, but all serve to provide a jumping off point for the viewer’s interpretation of the work. While trying to match the poetics of the image with the poetics of the words, the artist maintains that much is open to interpretation - he is as interested in what others feel from the work as that which was intended.


Peter Frederiksen attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2006 - 2008, with a focus on painting, drawing and fibers. It was during these years that the artist explored the techniques of other mediums and expanded his painting practice to include soft sculpture and fiber art. Following his time at SAIC, Frederiksen worked at ad agencies as an art producer where he fostered his passion for promoting and representing other working artists. He is currently a partner, representative and producer at RAD Represents, an artist representation company located in Chicago, IL.  


The artist’s work has been presented at a number of institutions in Chicago including the Chicago Athletic Association (solo exhibition, 2020), the Hyde Park Art Center (group exhibition, 2019) and the Arts Club of Chicago (group exhibition, 2018).  Most recently, the artist’s embroideries have been featured in group exhibitions internationally at Haverkampf Leistenschneider in Berlin (Text-ile, June - August 2022), Galleri Urbane in Dallas (Intersections, July - August 2022), Daniel Raphael Gallery in London (Go Figure!, July - August 2022), and Bulls Fest in Chicago, curated by All Star Press Chicago (The Art of the Game, September 2022). Frederiksen has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Guardian, Colossal, It’s Nice That,, Textiel Plus, The Fiber Studio, Composite Arts Magazine, and Chicago Art Review. The artist lives and works in Chicago, IL.