REVIEW: Sandra Menant Solo Show at Mayfair Rose & King Galleries

Sandra Menant’s acrylic canvases awaken hidden and surprising emotions. Her mixed media paintings consists of layers of pigments, varnish, inks and even more pigments. A collaborative narrative alongside the viewer develops. Menant’s use of rarely seen pigments have the power to transform the way we experience art and she is fully aware of that. The microcosm and macrocosm conflate in some of her pieces. Cells that become stars. Stars that become cells. What’s the difference, anyway?

Viva Cuba, ink and varnish. Courtesy the artist.

A cascade; a roller-coaster of sensations is what the viewer manoeuvres while standing opposite her works. Lapis lazuli, turquoise, emerald, shades of green and blue, also red and earthy grades: a cornucopia of colours. The desert island we all dream of. Sandra displays such an unlimited flow of energy that she needs to be working at several canvases at once to channel her creative drive.

The show, titled Lushness, just opened at Rose & King Galleries, next to Claridge’s, in Mayfair, 43 Brook Street, W1K 4HJ, until the 5thof May. The artist donates 10% of the proceeds of her sales to WaterAid, which works in 38 countries to help millions of people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. A good cause.

Rosa Migliardi, Director and curator, and Giandomenico Palermiti, CEO, of Rose & King Galleries, co-founded by Theo Kingshott, comments:

“Sandra Menant is the first artist hosting a Solo Show in the gallery and she has struck the curator through the energy and passion that transpires from her works. Sandra channels her passion for art into creating atmospheric, vivid paintings of the natural world in a distinctive style. Water is the theme in much of her work: cobalt, aqua, turquoise and azure merge and flow harmoniously to conjure tropical dreamscapes, create intrigue and stir deep emotions. R&K has recognised her emerging talent and is proud to include her in its collection of emerging artists.”

Close up Sunrise, acrylic, inks, paste and varnish, brushed steel bar. Courtesy the artist.

LB – What made you decide to become a visual artist?

SM – My great grand father was a painter, 1898 in Paris, Marius Menant, my grand father and father too, and I was seeped in art since childhood- my parents took me to so many art galleries we visited on trips around Europe, and it developed my aesthetic awareness. The sensitivity to forms and colours, sculptures and ceramics, the beauty of man made objects and artefacts was integral part of my education.


Marius Menant in his studio in 1898, Sandra Menant’s grandfather. Courtesy the artist.

Painting was not a conscious decision, but a necessity to express emotions. The result was a surprise, it was positive, energetic and very colourful. Friends and art collectors started buying , and I continued to paint with enthusiasm and passion and developing new techniques.

LB – What attracts you about using pigments and other unusual materials in some of your work?

SM – Textures on canvas has been a motive from early paintings: it reflects the dichotomy of life. Smooth and rough surfaces, matt or glossy; the inclusion of metal bars or organic bamboo creates perspective and delimitates the space, perspex bars add light and attract the viewer to a point of curiosity.

I love working with powdery pigments, granules paste, sand, crackle paste and fluid varnishes for translucence. I am a colourist.

LB – What would be the name of two artists that you feel are your main influence?

SM – Hokusai produced so many beautiful and balanced compositions, using round lines, trees acquiring supernatural dimensions, moon motives, water being part of his inspiration, painted in an abstract, pure yet very emotional form. Gauguin, and the Fauves movement, take colours to a higher degree. It takes precedence over subjects and I am in total admiration for his use of non naturalistic shades. I am especially in awe of Gauguin’s Tahiti landscapes. The sense of freedom.

For more information or how to book an appointment, please visit the website on www.rosekinggalleries.com

Meteoric Water, acrylic, ink and varnish. Courtesy the artist.

About Lorenzo Belenguer

Artist, writer and curator based in London and Valencia. Belenguer has collaborated with The Guardian, The Independent and many other specialised Art Magazines such Sluice, Artlyst and FAD. Belenguer's art is strongly influenced by Minimalism. He exhibited and performed at The Serpentine Galleries, TATE Modern and the 56th Venice Biennale.