FEATURED ARTISTS


FEATURED EXHIBITIONS


Ben Fenske Solo Show
August 6th - August 21st

Please join us for the Opening Reception of Ben Fenskes Solo Show on Saturday August 6th, from 6:30 to 8pm at the Grenning Gallery, 17 Washington Street, Sag Harbor. The exhibition hangs until August 21st.

Ben Fenske (b. 1978) is hitting another level in his work this year, with two distinct series of paintings.  His muse and girlfriend, Beatrice Champ is featured in a spectacular series of nude and semi- nude paintings. One can follow this intense and talented artist from a smaller sketch inspired by interesting light, as seen in Blue Light Nude to the fully finished and large composition Drying Hair.  Like a complete symphony, this series of ten paintings has bright movements, somber notes and exuberance.  Overall, the Bea Nudes leave us thrilled to show his work, and delighted to help him with his dedicated research into beauty. 

Clearly motivated by his new surroundings, there is also series of paintings created in and around his new home in Chianti. Following on from last years hugely successful luncheon painting, Fenske painted Summer Afternoon which depicts his friends in a flickering mid-summer Tuscan light.  Its an effective multi figure composition AND a beautiful ebullient work of art. There are several paintings of the laundry on line, which edge towards abstraction as he revisits the subject a third and fourth time.  Several florals from these at home paintings knock on Van Gogh and Cezannes door, but remain Fenskes through and through.

As Fenske approaches the end of his thirties, his career is continuing to catch the eye of important institutions, having been selected to show at the National Portrait Gallery in London this summer as part of the BP Portrait Award contest.  Later this year, the Grenning Gallery, with Fenskes guidance and leadership, is hosting 4 of Russias most notable painters on a plein air painting foray to Maine and the Hamptons in October.  He has also invited several important American painters to join the group. This trip will culminate in a big show on November 6th.  

BRAVO Ben!!


Ramiro | Sanchez
August 27th - September 25th

Please join us for the Opening Reception for Ramiro and Melissa Franklin Sanchez Show on Saturday August 27th, from 6:00 to 7:30pm at the Grenning Gallery, 17 Washington Street, Sag Harbor. The exhibition hangs until September 25th.

Ramiro (b. 1974), originally a classically trained musician, brings us a lyrical series of spiritual figurative paintings this year.  Hymn is an homage to the way one expresses their spiritual elations through song. The young womans face belies ecstasy as she levitates above the Earth into the abstract realm of spirituality. Red and yellow hues streak the atmosphere below, depicting her passion and complete envelopment in the musical manifestation of a higher power.  This breakthrough work by Ramiro merges his highly refined classical figurative narrative with an abstract background, creating a 21st century religious painting. It also recalls the sculpture Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini in Rome, which describes the intense joy of spiritual elation, attainable only when one relinquishes the worldly plane. Also technically, Hymn is a virtuosic work with the foreshortened legs and face.

In Allegory of Painting Ramiro has painted a girl who is in the middle of making a painting– in keep with tradition of similarly titled historical works, the subject is symbolic of the art of painting.  It is as if she has materialized out of the painting that she is making, which is on the easel behind her.  Its a fitting nod to ones idea of themselves as they approach middle age, the picture of ones life emerges from the abstract plans we make.

Allegory of Chopin (Nocturne) is as simple and pure as it sounds. Ramiro has used the subject of a rapturous beautiful young women to convey the emotions he feels when listening to the Chopin nocturnes, which are classically inspired but very experimental and unresolved.  Again, he finds a way to paint his souls reaction to beauty. To round out the show, Ramiro has produced a series of glorious beach umbrella landscapes from the coast of Tuscany in addition to several Hamptons scenic paintings.

Ramiro has also had an amazing year working on a commission to decorate the Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is also working on a private chapel commission, as he finds himself drawn towards more spiritual subjects.  

Melissa Franklin Sanchez (b. 1984) exhibits her latest work, created in her new hometown, Fiesole. Her sought after gem-like interiors are inspired by the likes of Hammershoi, with their dramatic lighting and deep sense of intimacy.  Summer Light our favorite, sold before it even got a label put on it!  Also, Franklin Sanchez made an important shift to painting on aluminum panels for technical reasons.  While the copper is a warm toned base, it is also heavy and difficult to find large panels.  There are also the final two candle paintings on copper, which literally glow.  Franklin Sanchezs Collecting Memories harkens back to the finest Dutch still lives.  We see a bolder more confident landscape painter, with two especially strong works Forget-me-not and Fiesole Sunset. This group of paintings clearly shows an artist inspired by her new environment and we look forward to more paintings.


RECENT PRESS


Fire Arts Connoisseur
Deceits That Delight

Everything sounds better in French. Translated into English as “deceive the eye”, “trompe loeil” isunderstood universally to be realistic imagery creating the optical illusion that the objects depicted exist in three dimensions. Although this French term appeared four centuries ago, the technique itself has existed since Greeces classical period. Often integrated within architecture to evoke larger spaces or views into nature, trompe loeil really took off in the Italian Renaissance with masters like Andrea Mantegna, then gathered greater steam as the Dutch Old Masters produced thousands of realistic still life paintings.

Those pictures crossed the Atlantic as household decorations and were taken to breathtaking new levels by such American masters as William Harnett (1848–1892) and John F. Peto (1854–1907). In fact, on view now through September 4 at New Jerseys John F. Peto Studio Museum is its biennial juried exhibition of contemporary still life and trompe loeil. The tradition took on added force when American artists such as Richard Haas (b. 1936) began adorning the sides of urban buildings with massive glimpses of distant vistas.

Here we have gathered two dozen recent examples of artists deceiving our eyes. Few are as meticulously detailed as the roundel painted by Marina Dieul on this magazines cover; some are painted from photographs rather than life, one is sculpted, and another covers a giant brick wall. As with all vital traditions, trompe l’oeil is broad enough to be adapted by each artist to suit his or her particular objectives. We salute all of them and look forward to seeing what they create next.


Hamptons.com
Grenning Gallery Showcases Artists New Found Maturity

When painter Ben Fenske was 22, he found himself in the hands of stock market turned self-owned art gallery curator Laura Grenning. Twelve years later, he had shown in her Sag Harbor gallery twelve times and moved beyond his painting comfort zone.


Hamptons Real Estate Showcase
Artists to Watch

Artists to Watch

A Selection of Diverse Local Talents, featuring Maryann Lucas