Findlay Galleries is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition, Juxtaposition & Composition, showcasing the colorful portraits and landscapes of the great British Romantic painter Hugo Grenville. This exhibition will open on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at Findlay Galleries, New York.
Grenville refers to himself as a romantic but recognizes a fascination with pattern and color that places him in the tradition of Henri Matisse. The characters and everyday objects that surround them in his paintings express his joy of life, light and color. Less obvious, but just as important, is a feeling of intimacy that recalls the contemporaries of Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. It’s here that Grenville is seen being influenced by the principles of the Nabis – a group of young Post-Impressionists, avant-garde Parisian artists of the 1890s who influenced the fine arts at the turn of the century. One of the goals of the Nabis was to integrate everyday life into their paintings and cover a flat surface with colors assembled in a certain order, as one sees Grenville doing so gracefully and sensitively. Layers of feelings come apart to reveal spiritual intensity. In the artist’s words, “the world around us becomes a poem revealing something about how he feels rather than how he looks.” Grenville also describes himself as a colorist. Her palette is bright and cheerful: lemon yellow, purple, mauve and pale blue are colors that appear regularly in her paintings. “The sea doesn’t have to be the blue you’ve seen,” he explains. “It can be pink, or red, or purple. There is this feeling that we can use color as a tool to connect the viewer to the emotional experience of being in the landscape.
Several years ago Grenville and his family moved from London to the “Red House” in Waveney Valley, Suffolk. The house, dating from 1650, still has a Georgian facade, beautiful old shutters and many other period details, Grenville’s passion for color, so evident in his art, led him to paint the interior peacock green, duck egg blue and purple – bright and bold hues that Georgians would have used. The rooms of the “Maison Rouge” served as the backdrop for several interior paintings and still lifes by Grenville. He now paints constantly in his garden studio in Dorset, which he shares in the summer with his pupils. In addition to teaching, he is a gifted lecturer with extensive knowledge of art history and a writer whose articles on painting appear regularly in The Artist Magazine.
“My paintings are a shameless and joyful celebration of life, a passionate defense of beauty and domestic harmony, steeped in the English Romantic tradition. I would like the work to be a symbol of promise, and that it expresses our sense of existence through the recognition of the transformative power of color and light.
By the arrangement of shapes, lines, patterns and colors, I try to conjure up the lyrical and the dream, a place at peace with itself. Still lifes and character paintings do not usually represent a real moment in time, but rather are the result of a process of reflection, meditation and reinvention, a distillation of the human experience. The flowers in the jug or the nude on the bed do not belong to now, but to all times, just as the abstract elements of color and light are timeless and connect us to both the past and the future, to the world visible and invisible. “
– Hugo Grenville
Visit Findlay Galleries, New York, to view this exhibit. To view the full catalog or explore the virtual exhibition, visit our website, www.findlaygalleries.com