Gregory Mortenson is an incredible painter who will be opening a new show with a reception tonight at the Arcadia Contemporary Gallery in New York City. The show will run from November 5-15 and includes 17 original paintings from his Haiti series that was previously profiled at The Krakens. (One of the new paintings is shown below.) According to American Artist Mortenson, “Embraced the rigors of training in the atelier tradition. This prowess is most evident in his portraiture, where the precision of description and delicate paint handling give a quite breathtaking sense of presence to the subject.” He lives and works in New York City.
Explain the atelier tradition. The 17th, 18th, and 19th century artists were tremendous draftsmen that continue to inspire today’s artists. They were all trained in the atelier system which involved a master artist that trained apprentices. It involved a lot of drawing and painting the figure from life, as well as drawing and painting casts from Greek and Roman statues. These systems eventually evolved to the prestigious 19th century French Academies. The method of training faded away in the twentieth century as representational art fell out of fashion. I studied at a four-year-school modeled after this method.