Far and Long Gone By
RARE Gallery is pleased to present Far and Long Gone By, Maya Brodsky’s solo debut at the gallery, and her first one-person exhibition since graduating with an MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2010. Comprised of richly colored and delicately scaled oil paintings on panel, the show runs from March 28 through May 2, with an opening night reception on Thursday, March 28.
Brodsky exhibits two groups of diverse but intimately related paintings – one focusing on the present, the other on the past. Renderings of her home and bed capture the stillness of a specific moment, preserving and locking it in place. The depiction of light becomes a physical representation of time that forever fixes an event in the present, as in the play of sunlight across a wrinkled bedspread. In her detailed and affectionate rendering of every nuance of light, color, texture, and pattern, Brodsky sees herself as a creator, and not merely a translator, of what lies before her.
During a recent trip with her mother to Belarus, the country from which her family emigrated when she was a young child, Brodsky experienced firsthand a past she only previously accessed through vague memories, glimpsed in old photos, and gleaned from her family’s oral history. Exploring th implications of this circumstance in a small series of paintings, Brodsky creates an alternate reality in which the past takes precedence over the present as she tries to understand the dilemma of observing situations that are both foreign and familiar. She gives us representations of what she could have known and things that could have been, leaving her in the position of an outsider.
What Brodsky has concluded from the paintings of her present home and of the older places that belong to her family’s history is that painting can bear witness to “preserving those forms we still can recognize” (Rainer Maria Rilke, The Seventh Duino Elegy). While the works based on images of her own life are extensions of her self – the beds she has slept in and the homes she has created – the Belarus paintings are of a reality that “borders” on her own because she does not have intimate knowledge of it. However, it is a reality this artist can understand and empathize with through the act of painting, which has allowed her to find the same recognizable, cared for, lived-in quality in that world as she does in her own, and thus to gain fuller access to her present.
In 2011-12, Brodsky’s paintings were exhibited in Living Things, Art Foundry, New York; Fiction/Non Fiction, Hersh Fine Art, Glen Cove, NY; Summer Exhibition, NYAA @ Flowers Gallery, New York (juried by David Ebony, Matthew Flowers, Carrie Rebora Barratt, Steven Zevitas); Salvaged, Island Weiss Gallery, New York; and Under the Radar, Lyons Weir Gallery, New York. She received the Acadia Foundation Artist’s Residency award in 2013 and the New York Academy of Art Post-Graduate Fellowship in 2010-11. The artist currently lives and works in Cambridge, MA.