The Grenning Gallery is pleased to invite the community to attend the Opening Reception of Lucas | Bauman, a two-person show on Saturday, April 8th from 6 – 7:30 pm. This show will hang until May 7th, 2017.
Driven by a force outside of herself, Maryann Lucas is the up and coming Sag Harbor based painter to watch. This show marks a step up in her career, featuring a body of work that speaks to a broader and deeper connection with the power that drives her to paint.
Harnessing the beauty and the truth that she finds when observing nature directly, Lucas’s exuberance for color is being deftly expressed in this fresh series of still lives created in her new studio. The elegant restraint in Lucas’s new paintings is a compelling shift in her work. Through simplifying the backgrounds and muting the tones, she leads the viewer closer to her delight in the vibrancy of life, as their eye finds the intense color found in the focal point. This technique is highly effective whether she’s leading us to the rich and deep hues found in a bouquet of mid-summer flowers, as in “Joyful Bouquet” or it’s as simple as the vibrant yellow egg yolk in “Egg-centric Circles”. Our favorite painting can be found on the postcard aptly named “Pink Swirl”, which is a celebration of the spray of tulip blossoms, which glow against the deliberately cool toned setting that Lucas has chosen.
“I know that I am in the presence of something beautiful when it steals my breath, silences my mind, pushes out everything else and draws me in. I trust THAT. I use THAT to guide my hands…”, explains Lucas.
Having studied painting with some of the leading painters in New York in the 80s and 90s and most recently, Michael Klein, Ben Fenske and Ramiro, we see a very interesting New York Paint School expressionism combined with the more refined palette of some of the country’s leading classically trained representational artists. Lucas’s work is far from illusionistic but her sophisticated use of color and tone and composition speaks to a working knowledge of the classical tradition. The combination of the late 20th century and early 21st century traditions make Maryann Lucas a very interesting local painter that we intend to follow.
Stephen Bauman (b.1980) is returning to the Grenning Gallery after a decade of developing his career overseas. Bauman, a New York resident since last summer, has spent the last ten years honing his very original visual voice, while working in ateliers in Italy and Sweden. Bauman’s eternally original and introspective expression makes him well poised to make his mark on the art scene, especially now that he is living and working in the New York area. We have always been drawn to his original and deeply felt paintings and drawings, having first shown him back in 2006 when he was only 25 years old.
The emotional intensity found in Bauman’s figurative work is astounding. A hallmark of Bauman’s character portraits is that, somehow, the subject’s gaze mysteriously extends beyond the plane of the canvas to connect directly with the viewer. This is what originally caught our attention 12 years ago; it has always been the case with his work, and it is again evidenced clearly in his “Portrait of Mia”, featured on the postcard for this show. Growing up in Miami as a street artist, although seemingly miles away from his current aesthetic, explains the graphic sensibility which distinguishes him from many of his fellow travelers in the classically trained artist world. Bauman’s unyielding interest in the many levels of reality is clearly explored in his recent mystical landscapes “Forster Landscape” and “Through the Mist”. We are very pleased to be working with Bauman again, and we see these select works as only an appetizer of what is to come, as he settles into his new studio here in New York.