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GMG Presents: Douglas Martenson: Outside Looking In + A Group Show: Inside Looking Out

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by gallery artist, Douglas Martenson and a group exhibition featuring the work of Brian Boutwell, Betsy Eby, Deirdre Murphy, Celia Reisman, Rebecca Segall, Sterling Shaw, Michayel Thurin, Alexandra Tyng, and Leigh Werrell.

“My paintings are like portals to worlds familiar and strange, mysterious, intriguing and sublime. Poetic and metaphorical, my work invokes the visual truth of perception, capturing not just the quality of light or the tonal harmonies of a particular scene but also its mood and the wonder of vision itself.

"In my recent work I have returned to some familiar locations - in some cases looking closer at the variety of plant life inhabiting the field where I paint in Maine. The intimate and transient nature of tents is reconsidered, as they take on new meaning as protected outdoor spaces. I have also returned to the coastal rocks and the shoreline that continue to hold strong against the tides and storms, adapting, changing, but still there.​

"When I’m in the studio, I think about how fields, rocks on a shore, the drama of an oncoming storm, and man-made structures like a fabric tent could be used to spark a dialogue about the impermanence and resilience of objects within the natural world​. With all the turmoil and challenges of the last year, these themes speak to me directly.”

- Douglas Martenson

Douglas Martenson paints observationally in various locations in Maine and Pennsylvania. He meticulously documents the light, atmosphere and environment of each view through a variety of painting techniques. While the painted objects appear with local color firmly established, a sensitive eye will begin to perceive deep reds, light purples, golds, chromatic grays and a spectrum of ever-present blues. Martenson’s careful handling of paint opens up worlds within each object, giving way to a conceptual interpretation over time.

Martenson is a Professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and teaches Drawing at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been exhibiting in Philadelphia with Gross McCleaf Gallery for over two decades and has shown his work regionally and nationally throughout the United States.



Douglas Martenson curated Inside Looking Out with the intention of creating a dialogue between this group exhibit and his own solo show, Outside Looking In. GMG is pleased to present works by Brian Boutwell, Betsy Eby, Deirdre Murphy, Celia Reisman, Rebecca Segall, Sterling Shaw, Mickayel Thurin, Alexandra Tyng, and Leigh Werrell.


Martenson says of his selection,

“As artists, we often feel like outsiders observing our world. We are looking to communicate our concerns, questions and thoughts, all in search of greater meaning, while also speaking for our time.

"For this show, I have chosen a group of artists who in their own ways are questioning outwardly by continually drawing from within. This inquisitive approach manifests itself artistically in myriad ways, whether through a three-dimensional spiritual quest, the application of expressive color in a portrait, or perhaps an emotional response that engages the viewer through pure abstraction. These artists exploit color, brush handling techniques, composition and texture in order to carry the viewers along, encouraging them to become immersed in the artists’ work, and creating an opportunity for them to confront and explore their own internal worlds.

"The journey within is a noble one, and I feel these artists are true to their quests.”