Originally from Minnesota, Ben Fenske now deivdes his time between Sag Harbor, NY and Florence, Italy. Fenske studied at the Russian Academy of Art, The Florence Academy of Art, the Studio of Joseph Paquet, Minnesota, and Bougie Studio, Minnesota.
Fenske paints still life, landscapes, interiors, portraits and figures with a fresh color palette, economical notation and painterly vigor — often with brushy scrubbing of color in areas that barely covers the support, at other times with a more refined and developed approach. In many cases, there is a appealing Van Gogh-like quality to his brusque, directional brush strokes.
Throughout his work is a keen sense of light and dark, often used to dramatic effect; even simple still life subjects take on a sense of visual drama. His seemingly casual paint application belies a nuanced approach to the use of texture — defining planes, revealing light and inviting you into his paintings with tactile presence.
In addition to his website, you can find an extensive selection of Fenske’s work, at times with larger reproductions, on the site of the Grenning Gallery.
There is a brief plein air process video on Vimeo.
[Via Marc Dalessio and Leo Mancini-Hresko]