Paul Fenniak was born in 1965 in Toronto, Canada. He received a Master of Fine Art degree from Concordia University in Montreal. He is represented by Forum Gallery in New York where four solo exhibitions of his work have taken place to date (’99,’04,’09,‘16). Two solo shows were held at Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal (’96,’02). In 2000 a traveling exhibition of his work was organized by two Canadian museums: The Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. He has participated in many group exhibitions in museums across the United States such as “New Old Masters” (2006) at the Naples Museum of Art in Florida, which featured work by John Currin, Julie Heffernan, Vincent Desiderio and Odd Nerdrum among others. In 2016 his work was included in the exhibition "Truth and Vision: 21st Century Realism" at the Delaware Art Museum which featured paintings from the book "Behind the Easel: The Unique Voices of 20 Contemporary Representational Painters", published in 2015. Fenniak will exhibit work in "Big Stories" at the Bo Bartlett Center, Columbus State University, a major exhibition of large-scale contemporary figurative painting in the narrative genre which will be on display from September 8th, 2023 - January 12, 2024.
He has received awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.
Critic Donald Kuspit called him “a master of the psychological realism that has existed in secular North European painting from Dürer through Rembrandt to Degas and Max Beckmann”1. Writing in the New York Times, critic Ken Johnson said of Fenniak’s work: “…there is a genuinely haunting, cinematic monumentality. It reminds one that the narrative as well as painterly possibilities of traditional, figurative representation are still far from exhausted.”2
1. Kuspit, Donald,“Paul Fenniak, Psychosocial Realist”, catalogue essay, Galerie de Bellefeuille, 2002.
2. Johnson, Ken, “Paul Fenniak”, New York Times, April 23, 1999, B35.