Grenning Gallery (Sag Harbor, NY) is now welcoming visitors to the gallery for the first time since mid-March, as New York moves to Phase 3 of re-opening the economy. “We simply require the basic precautions (mask, hand sanitizer; etc.) to keep the gallery safe for us and our other guests,” the gallery said.
Through July 12, 2020, the gallery is showing “Butko | Lamb,” with paintings by Viktor Butko (b. 1978, Moscow) and Sarah Lamb (b. 1972, Petersburg, VA).
From the gallery:
Viktor Butko, in preparation for this major, high-season show, has been painting on the East End and around New England all year. He was also quarantined in Vermont, painting en plein air with fellow Grenning Gallery artists as the pandemic hit in March.
Throughout the year, Butko has deepened his inquiry into the tonal shifts of light at twilight, especially as seen through trees.
“Over the Pond, Evening Light” is a mid-winter examination of that theme, where Butko deftly inserts a screen of verticals in the form of light-colored birch trees to offset the horizontal landscape beyond. The trees also frame sections of his background, highlighting elements that might otherwise be lost, like the shimmering water, effectively captured by this well trained yet contemporary impressionist.
Few may know that Viktor Butko is the third generation of highly respected painters from outside of Moscow. In fact, Butko was invited to show at the famous Moscow Union of Artists with up to 50 paintings tentatively planned on November 25, 2020. It’s an honor rarely afforded to a painter in their early 40s, and interestingly, this was the site of his grandfather’s, Victor Chulovich (b.1922 – d.1994), major exhibit in the early 1950s. (The exhibit dates may be changed due to Covid-related closures, however the invitation to show and what it confers about this fine young Russian painter stands.)
This is a theme that he has been developing for years now, starting with “Deer Park Lane” (2018, sold), and continued with several others in this show, like “Cold Winds”(2020), or “Shelter Island Summer” (2019).
Unbeknownst to Butko, in “Red Door, Sag Harbor Church” he is striking a bulls-eye in Sag Harbor’s contemporary art scene. Here he captures the early spring visage of The Sag Harbor Church, an exciting new arts center that Eric Fischl and April Gornik are building. Butko was drawn in by the aesthetics of the scene; the dramatic contrast of the red door against the white building, surrounded by the blue sky and green trees.
Through the lens of a global pandemic, and under quarantine on a painting sojourn with fellow painters, we are delighted to see this original and interesting composition of a Vermont valley this past March. His training en plein air in Russia has deeply influenced other Grenning Gallery painters; notably, Ben Fenske, Amy Florence, Tim McGuire, and Kelly Carmody, all of whom were on this painting trip.
Sarah Lamb returns this year with wide ranging variety of her sought-after, poetic still-lifes. Lamb has been very busy with commissions, so if one is partial to her highly prized white floral still lifes, or perhaps a jambon and cheese set up…please let us know so we can get you on her schedule!
Fresh from her studio, painted during the pandemic lock down, we see “Magnolia,” a lovely medium sized white flower still life, in the spirit of Martin Johnson Heade. Here we see Lamb’s decisive compositional virtuosity, executed in rich tones and precise brush strokes. Masterful in every way, her still life paintings hum.
In “Antique Grasshopper Weathervane,” Lamb revisits an earlier subject matter, as she continues her series of weathervanes. In this larger and somewhat more mysterious painting, the brass sheen of the weathervane is so realistic you almost have to touch it.
Lamb’s rare use of a high key palate in “Glass Menagerie” is a lovely investigation into the cool and warm palette amongst these natural and neutral tones.
In “Pomegranates with Brass Bowl” Lamb’s sets the table squarely in the center of the picture, and she offers a nod to the great American painter Emil Carlson (1853-1932) with her richly observed brass bowl. We are somehow brought into the 21st century with the subtle wide set vertical lines in the background and Lamb’s quintessential overall lack of fussiness in the painting.
In “Lavender” (shown at top) we see her move forward with her more contemporary iconic composition – with almost simple color field transitions between the grey stone shelf and background, the light brown paper, and the interesting structural use of the lavender stalks.
Learn more about “Butko | Lamb” or schedule a private viewing at grenningallery.com.