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Martin Grelle (American, b.1954)


Birth Place: Clifton (Bosque county, Texas, United States)


Who is Artist Martin Grelle?

Born in Clifton, Texas, Martin Grelle is an American painter, whose scenic portraits and landscapes have proven very popular with collectors. Trained while still in high school by James Boren and Melvin Warren, two famed artists and members of the Cowboy Artists of America, Grelle has shown both an affinity and talent for his realistic depictions of Native Americans from a century earlier. 

Grelle himself became a member of the Cowboy Artists of America in 1995, the same year his work began to be widely exhibited -- both in Texas and the surrounding American West. Grelle continues to paint and teach, mentoring younger artists while continually developing further on his trademark style and subject matter. Almost completely without formal training, Grelle shows that passion and dedication still trump academia for producing quality and lasting works of art. 

What type of art does Martin Grelle make?

Martin Grelle is an American painter whose realistic depictions of the American West have gained him a rather large and diverse fanbase. While his paintings are loved by all, it’s his sense of responsibility toward his collectors that spurs Grelle’s creativity -- making him unique among artists in this regard. His work has been exhibited in galleries across the US since the 1990s. 

How often do Martin Grelle’s paintings come up for auction?

As previously mentioned, Grelle is extremely cognizant of his collectors and as such his paintings come up frequently for auction. Indeed, even for someone who is still in the midst of a prolific career, Grelle already has an extensive record at auction. His oil paintings of Native Americans and the American cowboy make his worth valuable in subject and in execution. They frequently outperform their estimates. 

How much is a Martin Grelle painting worth?

Grelle’s paintings typically sell in the tens of thousands of dollars. His aesthetic, which has elements of photorealism but also fits into many of the categories of genre painting gives his work mass appeal while also exhibiting superior technique. As such, his work is popular even with people who may not always appreciate more adventurous styles or genres. Grelle has carved a unique niche for himself in the world of fine art and Americana.

Which Martin Grelle painting is the most valuable? 

The most valuable Martin Grelle painting is Dust in the Distance (2006) which depicts three Native Americans, two on horseback looking out over Grelle’s famed Snake River. It sold for $575,000 in 2014, nearly doubling the high estimate. It’s a great example of a prototypical Grelle, with towering clouds, scenic western vistas, and plenty of movement. It is signed and dated for provenance’s sake. 

What are the most famous paintings by Martin Grelle? 

Besides Dust in the Distance, Grelle has many paintings in the canon of the American West. Snake River Culture (2007), Prayers of the Pipe Carrier (2011) and Offerings on the Wind (unknown) all generally focus on the same theme (the American West and Native Americans) while exhibiting the artistic qualities that Grelle values. As such, all these have performed well at auction.

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