Log In   ·   Become A Member

Grenning Gallery Showcases Artist’s New Found Maturity

Chelsea Katz

Laura Grenning and Ben Fenske pose for a photo at his 12th show at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor. (Photo: Chelsea Katz)

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.

Squeeze into Grenning Gallery on Saturday, August 3rd and you were automatically greeted by an Italian Renaissance Medici Boar and paintings celebrating Fenske's newfound education and maturity.

"This show as opposed to shows that led up to this- a lot of his older works were beautiful and easy to sell but they were sketches of a light effect," Grenning said. "What's happening is I see an accumulation of knowledge starting to be applied to a very, kind of succinct canvas instead of an impression."

About two or three winters ago, Fenske started to study with Russian artists whose style focuses more on architectural elements and joints and structure, a style that easily shines in his first collaborative attempt at sculpting. (He worked with Richard Zinon, a pairing which Grenning says is unusual in that most artists tend to work alone.)

She also said that training with artists who primarily focus on structure is only a natural stepping stone to turn to three-dimensions. Fenske, Grenning feels, is an artist who is more focused on his process than he is on selling a painting.

"Ben is more like a scientist," she said. "And I think the great artists in the world are more focused on their processes as opposed to creating something that someone will buy."

She seems most impressed by his willingness to look to the past for his technique. Meanwhile, Fenske says he likes painting faces and whatever is lying on the kitchen table.

With paintings hanging on walls surrounding the sculpted boar in the center of the room, the paining of the hour sat solo on a back wall. Looking closely, inch-wide brush marks create a scene in the park. Zoom out and a small dog emerges out of the abyss in the lower-right hand corner.

"It wasn't until I had seen it five or six times that I noticed a dog in the foreground," Grenning said. And that's because his tonal values were spot-on."

Fenske who was making rounds at the opening garbed in an inside-out red t-shirt and jeans enjoyed painting "Florence, Shade" (with the dog) the best.

"I think I have a vision to where I'm going and this is one step closer to that vision," Fenske said. He was not able to put into words where said vision, only that he wanted to continue sculpting.

"That's why I'm a painter," he joked.

As people walked past him mingling in between paintings, Robert Stuart from East Hampton, who has been to a number of Grenning's exhibits including Fenske's, called the room "high energy."

"I like what he paints," Stuart said. "I like the way he paints."

For more information on Grenning Gallery, visit them online at www.grenninggallery.com.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Please type the word 'water'
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In the 2016 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #22 nationally and #5 in the Hamptons by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year.

East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hampton Coffee Company is dedicated to making sure you have the best possible experience with our brand, whether you visit one of our cafés, our Mobile Unit, one of our wholesale partners, order through our website, or purchase our coffee on the supermark
We strongly believe that one of the most important parts of being a successful business in the community is truly becoming a part of it. Hampton Coffee Company is proud to support more than 100 different local charities, schools, and organizations each and every year. It is our pleasure to participate in events that are important to our staff and our customers.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.