Please join us for the Opening Reception for Ben Fenske's Solo Show on Saturday August 8, 2015 from 6:30 to 8pm. This show will hang until Sunday, August 23rd.
Ben J. Fenske (b.1980) delivers yet again, another suite of top-notch contemporary impressionist paintings. In this group of paintings we see the continued influence of the Russian school influence, and his eyes continued to be inspired by the beauty and light that surrounds him. Fenske's ability to paint nature accurately, yet lean towards abstraction, makes him one of the most interesting realists of his generation. The perfectly observed "Nude, 2015" is set in an almost abstruse room of red and pink, washed in a yellow-orange light. The quiet poses is contrasted by the hot colors and dream like brush strokes.
In a boldly intimate composition, "Nude Sleeping" we see a familiar Fenske interior, a bedroom of an old European farmhouse. Emerging from the shadowed bed is the foreshortened form of a very sultry nude. The alternating cool and warm tones bounce around the forms and describe her soft curves. This piece recalls Bonnard's paintings of a woman at her bath.
Ben Fenske's "Lunch Table" is a gloriously complex painting of his friends under a canopied lunch table in Chianti. This painting, in addition to being successful and an ambitious multi-figure outdoor narrative, is an in-depth investigation of light effects - as all Fenske paintings. Strips of white, blue and yellow light stream through the canopy to inform the viewers of the people and objects lucky enough to be in this scene. The white-hot heat of the day is juxtaposed by the foreground, the comfortable blue and lavender light of the shaded luncheon table. In fact, this painting is a contemporary take on one of my all time favorite paintings, which can be found in the Phillips Collection in DC, Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party". The 21st century Fenske still focuses on the light, but the clothing and the body language are aptly Millennial, as the figures are dressed in simple clothes, and each seems to be in their own thoughts, except for the hostess who is pouring more wine, mid- sentence.