In The Beginning
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 72 inches
In the Beginning:
The Late Works of Dorothy Krakovsky
June 27 - July 21, 2023
Thursday, June 29 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Chelsea, New York at 526 W 26 ST, Suite 209
David Richard Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by the late Dorothy Krakovsky (American, 1923 – 2015). The presentation entitled, In the Beginning: The Late Works of Dorothy Krakovsky will include seven of Krakovsky’s large-scale canvases as well as seven smaller canvases. The exhibition title reflects Krakovsky’s reinvogorated “new beginning” with respect to her painting career much later in life following her move to New York City. The exhibition will be on view from June 27 until July 21, 2023, at David Richard Gallery’s new Chelsea location at 526 West 26th Street.
Krakovsky’s striking, large-scale paintings have garnered attention for their tension between dense all-over compositions which stop just shy of the edge of the canvas and bold use of color. Of particular note is her painterly style, which is redolent of the work of Joan Mitchell, one of the most revered abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century.
Krakovsky’s paintings reflect a deep engagement with mark-making, color, and the expressive power of paint. Her large canvases are comprised of energetic, gestural brushstrokes that seem to reflect an internal gravitational force which draws an otherwise all-over composition into centrally located, spherical compositions constrained within the edges of the canvas. This is quite distinct because generally while aspects of depth may exist in the all-over compositions of Milton Resnick and others, generally these types of paintings are realized in a singular plane parallel to the picture plane.
An all-over painting style is a type of abstract painting that features no focal point and no distinct narrative or subject. The painting itself is seen as an entity that goes beyond the limits of the canvas, creating a sense of infinity and expansion. In an all-over painting style, the composition is composed of numerous marks, shapes, and colors that develop and intertwine in a cohesive manner to create a unified whole. This style of abstraction is intended to convey a sense of spiritual and emotional power that transcends individual elements in the artwork. It is a pure form of expression, where the focus is on the sensory aspects of color, texture, and form, rather than any specific representation of the world.
While being rooted in this form of painting Krakovsky’s painting style characterizes itself through her centralized compositions which exude a sense of tension and vitality, while simultaneously their relationship to the edge of the canvas distinguishes her painting’s awareness of their own objecthood. Upon closer inspection, Krakovsky’s intention reveals itself in the carefully considered motion and placement of each individual brushstroke. While Krakovsky's paintings are rooted in the abstract expressionist movement, her unique interpretations also find inspiration in the advanced techniques used in cubist painting. By melding these disparate styles together, Krakovsky has created an approach to painting that is uniquely her own.
David Richard Gallery is honored to work with such a talented artist and looks forward to introducing Krakovsky’s dynamic work to collectors and art enthusiasts around the world and to continue to present the works of women painters who have been systemically underrepresented for generations.
About Dorothy Krakovsky:
Dorothy Krakovsky grew up during the Depression in Minnesota, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Krakovsky, who had nurtured a love of art for years, moved to Oakland, California and, at the age of 38, enrolled in the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1961. After graduating she hoped to teach art, but, unable to find a job, she and Chere (her daughter) moved to Iowa City where Krakovsky enrolled in the Master of Art program at the University of Iowa where she earned her MA in 1970 at the age of 47. The curriculum at Iowa focused on painting and there at the university’s museum Krakovsky frequently saw abstract works by iconic painters, including Jackson Pollack, Joseph Albers and other painters from the university’s permanent collection. In her master’s thesis, Krakovsky stated she decided to pursue non-objective painting.
From 1970 through 2011 Krakovsky struggled with personal health issues and needed to live on public assistance. She moved to Southern California where her daughter studied at Cal Arts and eventually moved to New York City. Lack of resources hampered Krakovsky’s ability to purchase supplies necessary for her painting in California. During that period Karakovsky herself tried to take undergraduate painting courses to stay engaged with her passion as much as she could afford. From 1997 to 1999 Krakovsky was able to take classes at the Santa Monica College of Design, Art and Architecture. Her paintings were included some group exhibitions, but none remain as she was unable to afford to store them or eventually move them to New York.
Learning in her 80s that she had cancer, Krakovsky moved to New York to be near her daughter. There, Krakovsky studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan under Bruce Dorfman and Larry Poons, whose allover paintings, together with Milton Resnick’s work, had greatly influenced and inspired her once again. In 2010 Krakovsky also studied at Hunter college under the renowned colorist Robert Swain. Krakovsky’s most productive period of painting, and probably the most exhilarating part of her career, occurred during the last four years of her life. In those four years, her work transitioned through an astonishing number of different phases and techniques. In 2011 Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, New York exhibited a few of Krakovsky’s small paintings in their sidewalk space as part of their Retrospective Project. Then, after seeing her larger paintings and astounding output from the four years at the Art Students League and Hunter College, Soapbox produced a solo exhibition of nine large paintings in 2014for Krokovsky at the age of 90.
About David Richard Gallery:
In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.
Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field—in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.
All Artwork Copyright © The Dorothy Krakovsky Trust All Courtesy David Richard Gallery. All Photographs by Yao Zu Lu