Nelson H. White Retrospective - 27 East

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Nelson H. White Retrospective

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Nelson H. White

Nelson H. White "Autumn, The Creek, Shelter Island Lot 9 Sept. 8, 2020."

Nelson H. White

Nelson H. White "Coopers Beach Dec. 27, 2020."

authorStaff Writer on Jun 22, 2021

On Saturday, June 26, the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor opens a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of artist Nelson H. White with a reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The show remains on view through July 7.

This is the first major retrospective of White’s work. Born in 1932 in Waterford, Connecticut, White works on Shelter Island, in Connecticut and Italy. Last summer during the pandemic, after being sequestered on Shelter Island and in New London, Connecticut, White was barred from traveling back to his beloved life in Italy for the first time in over 65 years. His first winter in the United States in a very long time yielded some breakthrough autumnal scenes, including “Autumn Creek, Lot 9”, and two “The Road, Shelter Island” paintings.

“Here, White has pushed the color envelope, added more impasto than ever, and simplified the details which has somehow modernized and flattened the images,” gallery owner Laura Grenning said in a release. “Most notable is the introduction of an almost dayglow orange, which pops against the bright blue skies, a quintessential East End sight throughout the autumn. These joyous paintings also recall the finest works of his father Nelson C. White and grandfather Henry C. White, who both reveled in the heat of this season’s palette.”

By the winter, Grenning notes that White pushed the move toward abstraction even further with “Coopers Beach Dec 27th” and “Sunset Seas and Sky, Feb 2021.”

“These latest works feel like an apt culmination of over 70 years of painting out of doors,” she said. “White, like many masterful painters as they enter their latter years, has eliminated unnecessary distractions from his compositions. After so many years of looking directly at color in nature, his mission has narrowed. In these latest works, White’s sole focus has shifted to capturing the magic of the light, through pure color, deftly and liberally laid on his canvas, in wise yet still fresh marks.”

Grenning gallery is at 26 Main Street, Sag Harbor. For more information visit

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