in Saint Augustine, FL / United States
25.09.2015 - 20.12.2015 12:00 - 18:00
Out of Place

Larissa Bates, Natasha Bowdoin, Vera Iliatova, Giordanne Salley and Dasha Shishkin

Monya Rowe Gallery is excited to announce the inaugural exhibition in our new location in downtown Saint Augustine, Florida. The gallery recently relocated from the Lower East Side in New York City, where it was located for 12 years. “Out of Place”, a group exhibition featuring Larissa Bates, Natasha Bowdoin, Vera Iliatova, Giordanne Salley and Dasha Shishkin, will open on Friday, September 25. The exhibition includes painting, collage and drawing. The work on view in “Out of Place” ambiguously explores themes surrounding displacement and spatial disorientation.

Larissa Bates‘ (b. 1981) paintings and drawings merge art history, Hermes­inspired patterns and a highly personal narrative. Exploring identity, loss and class, the works, most no larger than 12 by 9 inches, are painstakingly detailed using gouache and gold leaf and range from landscapes and still lifes to interiors and family portraits. Family and cultural identity plays a large role. How does one’s’ background shape their identity? There is a conflicted sense of identity permeating throughout. All these intriguing facets make it so enigmatic. Bates’ paintings are unabashedly ornate, vibrant and – strange.

Natasha Bowdoin (b. 1981) uses an assortment of mixed media – cut paper, gouache, graphite – to meticulously construct abstractions culled from floral imagery and a collection of texts. As the artist transcribes passages from notable literary figures (for this show, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 essay “Nature”) the collages in turn take on a new meaning. The text grows less legible, becoming merely suggestive of language. These dense floral abstractions press sentences past their breaking point, and through the cracks something less comprehensible can be glimpsed. They are a reminder of the power, limitations, impossibilities and aspirations of language. Bowdoin reshapes and recontextualizes language through seemingly perfectly constructed collages that gleefully echo with imperfections.

Vera Iliatova‘s (b. 1975) recent paintings combine narration and abstraction while expressing a curiosity with still life painting when depicted in unusual ways with challenging perspectives. Iliatova employs the use of flowers as a metaphor for change, anticipation, decay and growth. The flower arrangements, coupled with the theatrical setting of the landscape, interconnect with the melodrama unfolding in each painting, like scenes from a film. The paintings hone in on the psychological intensity of her protagonists ­ teenage girls on the awkward brink of adolescence ­ by revealing their idiosyncratic gestures and moods. Focused on the interior self, there is a strong sense of emotional duality permeating throughout; these girls fight, console, cry, ruminate, laugh and judge. The ambiguity surrounding the characters conjures a strong sense of poetic association: nature as subjective feeling.

Giordanne Salley‘s (b. 1986) paintings depict quiet, seemingly unimportant moments: embracing a tree branch while walking through the woods, searching for fallen glasses in the ocean, gazing at the sun rise. Like a frame from a film, the paintings zoom in on cropped moments drawn from memory and imagination. They portray a sense of longing and reflection mixed with humor and elation.

Dasha Shishkin‘s (b. 1977) energetic and pastel­colored drawings are windows into into a strange psychedelic world. The environment of the surreal imagery sometimes feels akin to a 19th century salon gone awry. Like James Ensor (1860­1949), the subjects are simultaneously grotesque and beautiful. It is difficult to discern exactly what IS going on in Shishkin’s drawings­ this mystery is part of their complicated charm.

Gallery hours Mon-Wed by appointment, Thur-Sun noon – 6 pm


Monya Rowe Gallery
4 Rohde Avenue
32084 Saint Augustine, FL
United States


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