Strange things start to happen this far out. They are beyond the limits of the city now, the women. Somewhere along the way a decision was made. Trees explode into flame, the ground becomes sky, black branches cling to a glowing green light. The sun, if it’s even there at all, is mean and withholding and the wind is picking up. Mirages appear. Fruit! Cake! How the comforts of home mock the explorers! Some abandon their clothing or lie wantonly in the soil. A figure dives through the air, oblivious of the earth.
Vera Iliatova’s new paintings eschew the logic of gravity and classical composition for more visually complex spatial grounds born out of painterly abstraction. Gone are the signifiers of stability: the park-like settings with clear views of the city, the carefully modulated color schemes and naturalistic light, the poussinesque compositions. We used to see Watteau, Balthus, Claude Lorraine in the paintings. Now Mitchell, Stettheimer and Salomone loom like a gathering storm. The paintings are full of painterly delectation, as we have come to expect, but at the service of more transgressive beauty. These women (like Mitchell, Stettheimer, Salome themselves) traverse increasingly tumultuous territories of pleasure. These are the days of never. Now one leads the way, then another. “Onward! And Onward! And Onward I go, where no man before could be bothered to go.”
- George Rush, 2013
Vera Iliatova received a MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University, CT and a BA from Brandeis University, MA. Iliatova has also undergone studies at Sorbonne University, Paris, France, completed a residency at Skowhegan School of Art, ME, and was a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Nominee in 2009. Iliatova moved to the U.S. in 1991 at the age of 16 from St. Petersburg, Russia and currently lives and works in Providence, RI. This is her fourth solo exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery.
George Rush is a painter who lives in Columbus, OH.