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Siren Song | Daniela Astone, Terry Elkins, Edward Minoff, Michael Kotasek Exhibition



Kelly Carmody | Emily Persson

May 11 - June 9

The Grenning Gallery is pleased to unveil CARMODY | PERSSON a two person show celebrating the textural palette knife paintings from Australia’s own Emily Persson; juxtaposed with Kelly Carmody’s new series of glowing bayscapes inspired by Shelter Island’s quiet season. This exhibit will hang from Saturday, May 11th through Sunday, June 9th, 2024. Please join us for an Opening Reception on Saturday, May 11th from 5:30pm-7:00pm, both artists will be present.

In October of 2023, Kelly Carmody (b. 1977, Massachusetts) jumped on a rare opportunity to spend a month on Shelter Island, entirely solo. The busy season had just ended, and all the summer visitors had departed. Carmody found herself on the pristine beaches alone, with only the still waters and crisp autumn air to accompany her. It’s a breathtaking revelation, when one is finally able to absorb all the beauty this small island between the North and South Forks has to offer. Silence; save for the wind, the birds, squirrels, and deer crunching on newly fallen leaves in the forest. This time of pensive reflection and solitude inspired Carmody to paint her surroundings, with as much purity as she could possibly convey onto the canvas. Carmody even concocted her own traditional gesso, made of marble dust, pigment, and rabbit glue for this new series. Unlike a pre-primed canvas, this new surface produced an absorbent ground, which generated a smoothing effect as the paint was layered on to the canvas. The result is a rich colorist yet, almost transparent quality to the painting.

The composition for Pink Reflection began with a plein-air pastel drawing, with Carmody sitting on the bridge at Dering Harbor. In the pastel, we see a colorful sky with clouds scattering just after sunset. The horizon is intersected by masts from an assortment of sailboats. In the foreground, water runs out from beneath the bridge she sits upon, flowing into the harbor, the current accentuated by a simplistic design of little V shapes. When Carmody translated this plein air sketch onto a canvas, she made decisions to omit a lot of what she saw on site. She emphasized the stillness of the harbor, where the pink sky casts a bright reflection onto the water’s surface. The sailboats intersecting the horizon were entirely omitted, heightening a sensation of peaceful contemplation. The movement in the foreground is only annotated by her echoing the pattern of arrows pointing us toward the direction of the water’s current. What started as a plein air pastel, sparked by an interesting light effect, resulted in a studio painting that emanates light itself.

Throughout the rest of the series, light is the prominent subject. The changing of seasons meant that Carmody was able to experience a different atmosphere, and subsequently light effect, each day. The milky blue of Shelter Island Evening and the warm orange of Orange Clouds are the same location at different times of day. Carmody’s paintings demonstrate how, in a matter of minutes, light can completely transform a scene.

In Spring Still Life, Carmody emphasizes the light being the painting by showing no shadows. By getting rid of the shadows that should be there, Carmody individualizes each object, and celebrates the simplicity of color and shapes in a flat plane.

Emily Persson (b.1991, Australia) returns to the Grenning Gallery with an enchanting body of textural scenes from her home in Melbourne, Australia. Persson joined the Grenning Gallery roster in 2019, with a few paintings in our “Thick and Wet” exhibition from 2019. We sold out of her work, and she has spent the last four years painting for solo shows at galleries in Australia; Wentworth Galleries of Sydney, The Moree Gallery of New South Wales, and Manyung Gallery of Victoria. We are thrilled to finally have new work from Persson, who is a multi-generational painter with roots in Brisbane, and we are beyond excited that Persson will be travelling all the way from Australia to join us for the opening reception!

Persson works primarily with a palette knife, in fact, the same knife her grandmother painted with. This tool aids in creating the long depth of field we see in her landscapes—with objects in the foreground physically popping off the canvas and features in background melting away with one swipe. Unlike Carmody’s exploration of distilling canvases into light effects, Persson magnifies the various textures that the world offers.

In Tree Line Sublime, the largest work by Persson we’ve shown in the gallery so far, the painted bark not only visually represents the look of the bark, but physically represents its rough and varied texture as well.

Persson’s clouds are ones you want to reach out and touch due to her work with the palette knife, smoothing the white paint like icing on a cake. “It Was Nice” is a glorious frenzy of clouds—the sky takes over three quarters of the composition. Abundant white paint slathered onto the canvas meet shadows of grey and blue in a spectacular maze of billowing vapors. Beneath is a patchwork quilt of green paints demonstrating the lush, verdant hills of her homeland.

Although both Carmody and Persson paint the natural world surrounding them, their different inspirations, methods of painting, and styles highlight their individuality as artists—resulting in a dynamic exhibition we are delighted to present to the public on May 11th!

Marc Dalessio + Nick Weber

April 6 - May 5, 2024

The Grenning Gallery is pleased to unveil our next exhibition, DALESSIO | WEBER a two person show celebrating Dalessio’s latest global landscapes and introducing East End’s own Nick Weber. This exhibit will hang from April 6th through May 5th 2024. Please join us for an Opening Reception on Saturday, April 6th from 5pm-6:30pm.

As one of Grenning Gallery’s original artists, we are pleased to show the latest works of the now global artist Marc Dalessio (b. 1972, California). Since his first show with us in 2000, Dalessio has become one of the world’s top Plein-Air painters. A gifted draftsman, Dalessio paints subjects exactly as he sees as them, directly observing nature on site. Of course, we know that nature doesn’t sit still, so he is constantly locking in details and colors that ignite his imagination during a painting session. We are grateful for the results and very pleased to have this group of lush landscapes from a variety of regions around the globe in his first show with us since the pandemic. After several years in Portugal, several of Dalessio’s major new works come from in and around his new home in southwestern France. As seen above in Les Andelys at Dawn (2023).

Just before he left Portugal, where he spent most of the pandemic locked in a comfortable studio above the town square, Dalessio created a small yet virtuosic painting of a street farmer’s market. In “The Saturday Market, Estremoz” we see his amazing ability to quickly get the key elements of this shaded market down on the canvas. Expressive yet accurate and intriguing all the same. We also have a quartette of seasonal paintings capturing the Estremoz Castle, which harken back to the Baroque practice of painting a single subject during all four seasons.

We are also very excited, after at least almost a decade later, to have another sought-after orchard painting, nestled in the Tuscan valley that cradles Florence in the background. “Dawn Light, Florence” is a subtle and original painting of this oft painted subject. The dark foreground of inviting shade is contrasted by the surprising choice to reduce Florence’s historical architecture into a carpet of ochre nubs along the valley floor. This painting could only be created by someone who has regularly ventured into the Tuscan landscape, as opposed to someone who had a passing glance at it’s wonders.

Always seeking new material for his expert eye and hand, Dalessio continues to travel the world and paint. Dalessio created “Fishing Boats, Koh Yao Noi“ which captures a traditional sailing ship at the edge of the Andaman Sea around Thailand. “Musician, Asilah (Morocco)” we see an expertly observed and composed image of a man marketing his wares from atop rich mélange of red and orange textiles in front of a rich white plaster wall. Dalessio’s work speaks of both his deep curiosity about the world – both man and nature…combined with a learned eye as to what makes a great painting. We also see his understanding of the Grand Tour mentality of the 19th Century artists he admires. The paintings from Asia, are a direct nod to orientalist influence of this great generation of aesthetic painters. After 24 years of showing at the Grenning Gallery, our hats are off to Marc Dalessio, for his fortitude and drive, and continued passion for his craft.

We are very pleased to introduce the East End painter Nick Weber (b.1971). I became aware of Weber’s paintings many years ago. He registered in my mind as one of the finest painters working on the East End at the time. I was intrigued, but alas, he had good representation at the time, so I pushed my curiosity about his work aside. I was very pleased when I got word that he had stopped by the gallery last summer with his new baby and mentioned that he might be open to talking about working together. A conversation and several studio visits later, I am very pleased to be opening his first show with Grenning Gallery!

Weber is living and painting in Springs, NY (about a block away from Jackson Pollock’s studio), has been building on and away from his classical training since he moved there in 1995. Weber’s paintings are atmospheric and painterly; figurative and abstract; simple and complex; beautiful and sometimes political. His working process demonstrates a deep understanding of how great images have been made throughout art history. Expertly drawing and painting from life is enough for most artists, but Weber pushes on from there.

In “Hallelujah” we see Weber’s under sung technical craft as he paints Bathsheba holding her cell phone in her hand, waiting for King David’s call. A scant but convincing architectural indication in charcoal of a grand turret in the upper right-hand corner houses the King as he looks down upon Bathsheba. This colorful and rich painting indicates all we need to know about Nick Weber’s work; he is extremely well trained, well read and yet also tuned into contemporary life. This latter point is made within the composition (she’s holding a cell phone) and her look – which is distinctly from here and now. All of this is happening on a canvas that has a gorgeous, bright local sky, dramatically backlighting the narrative. A successful contemporary figure steeped in craft and ancient storytelling: a Grenning Gallery Bullseye!

Grounded in drawing, Weber uses a multi-layered process of drawing, painting, and printing. In an interesting twist, he has originated a new form of mono-printing. To extract the most value out of the time-consuming practice of capturing a perfect likeness of his subjects, Weber decided to paint oil directly onto plastic wrap. He takes this image on the thin layer of plastic wrap and presses it into ongoing abstract compositions, as well as more traditional setting for a portrait or figurative work. As a result, we see the same face or figure cropping up in multiple works, or in the same work multiple time–with varying degrees of vividity. The overall effect is an intriguing blend of classical and contemporary, serious figurative art and whimsical colorful abstraction. Weber is able to weave his natural humanistic tendencies into and onto pure abstraction all the while tapping into an astute observation of his contemporaries and the current tenet of beauty.

Also, it’s fascinating to see “Unknown Legend” and “Queen Jane” side by side. These are two distinct paintings created with the same face, which is only possible because of his new mono printing technique. One is a more traditional portrait –a simple composition with excellent craftsmanship. “Queen Jane”, on the other hand, has the same high-quality portrait of a beautiful young face, however it is surrounded by a luminous haze of color ans her head is adorned with a crown of sorts. The effect feels like we’ve discovered a gorgeous fresco on a newly excavated villa wall in Italy! A 21st century palette of bright (and sometimes neon) color bursts are the only thing indicating it is indeed a 21st century master at work.

In another interesting use of his own mono-print technique, in “Abstract with Helga”, there’s a sea of colorful patterns and strokes, yet there is a single face in the lower right-hand corner, as if lost in this colorful dream. And next to this, we see his pure abstract painting “Abstract 3”, which we find delightful. These pure abstractions were an organic outcropping from the strict and sharply focused business of painting portraits – which was a necessity during the period between committing to a gallery for representation. Hours of focused painting, day in and day out, built up a deep desire in Weber to just let loose on a canvas and paint with bold colors and expressive strokes…. kind of like taking a walk after writing for hours on end. When he explained these paintings to me, I could totally feel the aboriginal artist in him, just wanting to let loose. This honest inspiration with his tasty palette of colors, makes these pure abstractions a visual delight.

Underlying Weber’s work, we sense him investigating themes of the power relationship between the viewer and the viewed as well as the subject’s textured history of struggle, dignity, and strength. The “Joan of Arc” painting is a masterful look at the age old see saw of feminine power and masculine desire. Here Weber casts this contemporary young beauty as a Goddess with the Kate Moss look alike, standing nude at the center of the canvas in the power position, especially compared to his smaller and more tentative stance. She is the boss of everyone and everything, as she appears to be emerging from the fire, commanding the artist in front of her, the musician behind her and she even seems to have the stars and the moon looking down on her and her alone.

In a wonderful discovery, we found a painting of Grenning Gallery’s artist and oft muse “Visions of Johanna” from many years ago. This stunning portrait of Johanna is on a brilliant colorful background which feels as if light is flickering through a dense and colorful garden. This painting shows one of the great muses in her prime – again, Weber’s painting here is honoring the power of her presence and yes, her beauty. In a nod to her strength in motion, Weber paints her figure swimming under water in the dreamscape behind her.

In “Alexandra Leaving” we see his sense of humor, as the beautifully painted figure of a woman, heads off down a bike path clearly set in the shady woods of The Springs. Weber’s surrealist use of gold Moorish patterns along her path seems to set her on Dorothy’s path of self-discovery down the yellow brick road. Again, we also see her power in showing us her back – leaving without even a look back.

Weber presents a colorful oeuvre that is both introspective yet sincerely curious about his surroundings and subjects. A recurring theme that swizzles through his work is that of the muse and the artist, and the woman as goddess. Classical canons of beauty mash up with contemporary images of beauty and youth, set in idyllic East End landscapes, fantastical landscapes from Renaissance paintings, or pure abstraction of color pattern and light. A sense of levity and a wink of humor peek through, as do sudden bursts of color.

Weber has exhibited mostly in the Northeast, with recent exhibitions at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, Harper’s Apartment in New York, NY, Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, NY, Tripoli Gallery in Southampton, NY, and Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY. His works are included in significant private collections in the United States and abroad. List of private collectors includes luminaries such as Richard Prince, Lisa de Kooning, Bernard & Almine Ruiz-Piccasso, Betsy Johnson, Knight Landesman, Jennifer Coolidge, Sean Penn, Phil and Shelley Aarons, John McWhinnie, and many others.

Exhibition Calendar

Announcing our Exhibition Calendar for the Year

January 13 - March 16: GREENHOUSE Group ShowMarch 17 - March 31: CLOSED for Cleaning/paintingApril 6 - May 5: MARC DALESSIO & NICK WEBERMay 11 - June 9: KELLY CARMODY & EMILY PERSSONJune 15 - July 7: GROUP SHOW Daniela Astone, Terry Elkins, Edward Minoff, & Michael KotasekJuly 11 - August 4: HUNT SLONEM Solo Show (Thursday Opening)August 8 - August 25: DARIUS YEKTAI Solo Show (Thursday Opening)August 29 - September 22: BEN FENSKE Solo Show (Thursday Opening)September 28 - October 20: GROUP SHOW Sarah Lamb Anthony Mastromatteo, Carl Bretzke, & Viktor ButkoOctober 26 - November 17: GROUP SHOW Steven Levin, Mathias Meinel, Melissa Franklin SanchezNovember 23 - January 12th, 2025: GEMS Annual Holiday Exhibition

Images: Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn at Estremoz Castle, by Marc Dalessio, 2023, 4 paintings Available


SouthForker | June 2024

Glowing from Within: Kelly Carmody’s art celebrates the picture-perfect stillness of Shelter Island

Classical realist artist Kelly Carmody already has an impressive list of achievements. In addition to creating and exhibiting award-winning, highly lauded paintings with subject matter ranging from large portraits to elegantly composed still-life to interiors that allow her to play with elements of light and dark — all done in the style of master painters — her works have been featured in “American Art Collector,” “Fine Art Connoisseur,” and “International Artist Magazine,” to name a few, and she was also responsible for creating the original art featured in Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of Little Women about six years ago. However, it is through her most recent series, where she’s utilized a new style of painting she’s been experimenting with, that may be her most impressive, and alluring, feat yet. And it happened here on the East End.

 Glowing from Within: Kelly Carmody’s art celebrates the picture-perfect stillness of Shelter Island Exhibition

Dans Papers | April 2024

Nick Weber Bridges the Abstract & the Real at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor

A master of figurative painting and realism, Springs artist Nick Weberis exploring something quite different with his new exhibition at Grenning Galleryin Sag Harbor (26 Main Street). The show — which shares space with a wonderful selection of paintings by Marc Dalessio and is on view through May 5 — presents a remarkable body of work using a technique of Weber’s own invention. Written by Oliver Peterson.

Nick Weber Bridges the Abstract & the Real at Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor Exhibition

Fine Art Connoisseuer | September 2023

Five to Watch

There is a contingent of contemporary landscape painters whose works could easily be mistaken for those of 19th-century Russia's renowned "Itinerants," but Viktor Butko (b. 1978)'s educational lineage can literally be traced back to one of that movement's leaders, Isaac Levitan. 

Five to Watch Exhibition