The Grenning Gallery has announced the opening of a major solo exhibition for the American landscape painter Stephen Hannock. His solo show will be on view from June 10 to July 3, 2017.
An Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Sag Harbor gallery.
Respected as one of the most revolutionary landscape painters in his generation, Hannock combines elements of collage and writing directly on the canvas. Inspired by the Tonalist and the Hudson Valley painters, Hannock incorporates many of the late 20th Century New York City paint scene techniques into his work.
Hannock’s love of the great Hudson Valley painters is evident in his work. His use of modern materials and practices distinguishes him from the normal Grenning Gallery fare, creating a special exhibition for this Sag Harbor gallery.
“The luminosity and depth of his work stands up to any Old Master or 19th Century Master that we have ever seen, but with an added modernity – employing the use of innovative materials and collage to tie it all together,” said gallerist Laura Grenning, who arranged the show by selecting works from private collections as well as those on loan from Marlborough Gallery.
Hannock’s work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Smithsonian Museum, The National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the MFA in Houston, as well as in the collections of Yale, Princeton, Harvard Universities and Bowdoin College. He has had solo shows in New York and across the country since 1985, and is currently represented by Marlborough Gallery, which has a global presence.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is expected to exhibit a solo show of his art in 2018. One of Hancock’s “Oxbow” paintings have been on view in the New York City art museum—rare for a living painter, said Grenning. His work is also well-respected by critics and important museums across the world.
“It is almost impossible for me to find a painter that I love that also has all the critical acclaim and institutional support already backing up his career,” said Grenning. “This is why I felt it was such a good idea to have his work out here in The Hamptons during the high season. The work is spectacular, he’s famous and, most importantly, I love the paintings.”
One of the stars of the solo show at Grenning Gallery is Flooded River with Red Maple (Mass MoCA #241). At 44 x 72 inches, the painting is one of the large-scale works on view. The painting demonstrates his ability to create a luminous evocative painting, with the rich warm sunrise tones peeking through mist, which is rising into the teal blue morning sky.
In this work, Hannock explains that he is commenting on “seasonal sweeping away of debris gathered over the winter, which is an annual event.” Rather than looking at the devastation one can see in a flood, he prefers to think about the cleansing ramifications.
In addition, the exhibition presents a series of smaller paintings from the Rocket series, inspired by Whistler’s “Rocket Paintings.” Hannock says he is fascinated by and worked to capture the quickly-moving light BEFORE the starburst. It was the anticipation of the crescendo that he wanted to paint, he said.
Incendiary Nocturne with Stormy Sea (48 x 40 inches) evokes this excitement through its portrayal of several streaking rockets.
The exhibition also presents a selection of gems from Hannock’s ongoing “Ophelia” series, said Grenning. “We are especially pleased to have works from this series as part of the show,” she said.
In an homage to the effective storytelling compositions of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Hannock is mid-stream in his exploration of the Ophelia theme. Lovesick and caught in a web of deceit, the classic Ophelia falls from a weeping willow into the waters and drowns…or did she leap?
In the painting Flood Oxbow for Ophelia (5 1/2 x 6 5/8 inches), a more contemporary reference can be found in Hancock’s beautiful and moody images lifted from Gregory Crowdson’s Ophelia, which portrays a woman floating in the living room of a flooded suburban home. The work also incorporates references to Kiki Smith’s Ophelia.
It was Hannock’s deep pain from seeing his wife lying in the hospital bed, in total confinement after her stroke, that connected him to Ophelia. This experience created a profound understanding of the vulnerability of women and their need for protection and support from men and yes…other women too. The feminist theme underlying this heartfelt inspiration has become a far more universal topic over the last six months.
Another painting of interest comes from a private collection. The painting, similar in feel and composition to Flooded River with Red Maple, was purchased directly from the artist around 20 years ago and provides an interesting comparison to recent works that make up the majority of the exhibition.
Paintings on view will range from $15,000 to around $375,000, in keeping with the artist’s reputation as a significant American landscape painter of note.
BASIC INFO: "Stephen Hannock" has an Opening Reception on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 pm. This show remains on view through July 3rd, 2017. The Grenning Gallery is located at 17 Washington Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. www.grenninggallery.com.
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