in New York, NY / United States
12.04.2018 - 19.05.2018 00:00
Polina Barskaya - Brightwater Avenue

Monya Rowe Gallery is excited to inaugurate the new gallery location at 224 West 30th Street, No. 1005 (between 7/8 Avenues) in the Flower/Fur District of Manhattan with a solo exhibition of paintings by Polina Barskaya titled “Brightwater Avenue”. This marks the gallery’s return to New York after operating in Florida for two years. Monya Rowe Gallery is now entering its’ 15th year.

In an over stimulated world, Barskaya finds inspiration in her own domestic experience. All her subjects are on hand. Baraskya’s paintings are an autobiographical documentation of her daily life: a selfie taken right after a shower, lounging on the sofa with her husband, reading in bed, or vacationing. Ensconced in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn since the age of six, Baraskaya’s work is undoubtedly informed by her Russian surroundings. A place that is on the edge of New York, near the ocean, yet cold and dark for most of the year. Barskaya’s paintings sometimes depict the ocean views seen from her high-rise apartment. However, amid this expansiveness there is a Hopper-esqe sense of isolation, which Barskaya emphasizes by the repetition of interiors.

As the viewer engages with the work, and the storytelling unravels, it becomes evident that there is an act of drama at play. In “Bloomville Cabin” (2017), the artist is depicted in bed with a blanket draped over her half nude body as she turns to stare at the unseen camera. This mixture of vulnerability and voyeurism is a strong theme though out the exhibition. We see in the work elements of Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), but also Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876-1907). Barskaya is unabashedly driven by the act of Painting. Light is rendered in Morandi grays amid challenging perspectives and splashes of color that make it hard to ignore the artists’ confident mark making. Barskaya humbly illuminates her world for us: a celebration of existence, and the human condition.

Polina Barskaya (b. 1984, Cherkassy, Ukraine) received a BA from Hunter College, NY and a MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Recent group exhibitions include “Honey Ramka”, Brooklyn; Sweet Lorraine Gallery, Brooklyn; and Monya Rowe Gallery. Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) curator, Maria Elena Ortiz, selected Barskaya’s work as a PAMM pick at Pulse Miami Beach 2016. Barskaya lives and works in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY. This is the artists’ first solo exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery.

Gallery hours Tues – Sat noon – 6 pm


Monya Rowe Gallery
224 West 30th Street, #1005
10001 New York, NY
United States


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