The Grenning Gallery, with Ben Fenske’s guidance and leadership, is hosting the Russian – American Painting Alliance Exhibition, which is showcasing the works from a budding relationship between the two nations’ painters. This loose group initially formed several years ago, on an invitational plein air painting trip to Russia.
Fenske was inspired to share our amazing landscapes with his new Russian friends, so he organized a painting foray to Maine and Sag Harbor this month. Most of these painters have never been to the United States, so we expect very fresh eyes! They all met a few years ago, when the Russia sponsored a group of painters living in Italy to paint in the hometown of Levitan, arguably the most famous 19th century Russian landscape painter. The Grenning Gallery is fortunate to be hosting four of Russia’s most notable painters for the outdoor painting excursion this month to Mount Desert Island, Deer Island Maine and Sag Harbor. Their trip culminates in this exhibition some of the finest works done in nature. We are delighted to introduce, Olga Karpacheva, Viktor Butko, Irina Rybakova, and Oleg Zhuravlev. They join Ben Fenske and several other notable American plein air painters; Carl Bretzke, Stapleton Kearns, Leo Mancini Hresko, Tim McGuire, and Jesse Powell.
Oleg Zhuravlev (b. 1981 in Furmanov) is a highly praised painter in Russia. He has been granted many native awards, including the Gold Medal of the All-Russian Exhibition, “Symbols of the Fatherland” held in Moscow in 2014.
Olga Karpacheva (b. 1974 in Vologda, USSR) is a well-known painter and her paintings have been displayed in numerous exhibitions throughout Russia. Her work can be found in 5 Russian museums, including the Intinskiy Regional Studies Museum, Volga State Museum and Conservation Ground, and the regional museums of Vytegda, Tot’ma, and Ystyuzhna.
Victor Butko (b. 1978 in Moscow) was born into a long line of artists, and has been mentored in painting since the age of 8. He is currently the youngest artist exhibiting at Thomas Kearns McCarthey Gallery, one of the foremost dealers in the United States for Russian Impressionist art. Older Russian impressionist artists, Alexei and Sergei Tkachev (they are brothers) claim Butko’s work is the “….next generation of greatness.”
Irina Rybakova (b. 1961 in Vyshny Volochok) is a famous Russian master of landscape. The image of the Russian village and the village worker are her dearest subjects. Her art is appreciated in museums and collections both in Russia and abroad.
We are also introducing some new American painters as well, who will be joining our Ben Fenske and Leo Mancini Hresko.
Stapleton Kearns (b. 1952, Minnesota) is an essential link to the only bastion of classicism in the United States during the second half of the 20th century. Like most in his generation, when Kearns came of age in the early 70s, there was little or no technical instruction available at his university. Frustrated, he sought out Ives Gammell’s famous Fenway studios in Boston. True to generous ethos embedded in the Atelier culture, Stape (as his friends call him) has openly shared his refined knowledge through a widely followed blog and he teaches workshops throughout the country.
Tim McGuire (b. 1971) Born in 1971, Tim McGuire grew up in Buffalo, NY. After teaching kindergarten in Los Angeles for 10 years, McGuire moved to Florence, Italy where he studied painting. McGuire’s work has been exhibited in The United States, The United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, and Canada. McGuire lives and paints in Florence.
Jesse Powell (b. 1977 in Los Angeles California) is an award winning painter, who has a BFA from University of Puget Sound, but most interestingly studied under notable Russian painters Nicholai Dubovnik and Ilya Yatsenko as well as John Wundeman in the Republic of Georgia. Influenced by the Californian and other American Impressionists, Powell has won many awards and been exhibited in numerous regional galleries and museums. He is currently the only living artist to have work accepted by the Irvine Museum.
All of these wonderful painters display an artistry and sensitivity in their depiction of Russia’s beautiful landscape and people. It will be fascinating to see what happens when they turn their Russian eyes onto our Northeastern coastal landscape.