Vera Iliatova (b. 1975, St Petersburg, Russia) is a luminary within contemporary art, renowned for her masterful command of intricate and ethereal compositions. Her rich canvases combine metaphors of lush landscapes and enigmatic figures to create uniquely disconnected and psychologically charged perspectives. 


Iliatova grew up in Leningrad, Russia before seeking refuge and political asylum in Brooklyn at sixteen. As she moves through memory and time, Iliatova’s self-portraiture method anchors her dreamlike imagery. She describes the vicissitudes of her younger self as “ciphers, stand-ins, imposters, and actresses” representing the struggles of adolescence and early adulthood. The hybrid environments they inhabit mirror the changes in modern spaces; whether postindustrial cities, cryptic boarding schools, or suburban landscapes. Iliatova’s employment of naturism and deeply emotive color schemes aid in an oscillation between the observational and, in the artist’s words “an anxious frenzied fête galante.” She intertwines elements of hyperrealism with fantastical narratives, weaving a tapestry that delves into the depths of memory, identity, and the subconscious. 


Vera Iliatova received a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale University, with further study at the Skowhegan School of Art (2004) and a residency at Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation (2007/2008). In 2018, Iliatova was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting. She has exhibited across the US as well in Italy, Germany, Denmark, and Great Britain. Her recent exhibitions include Catskill Art Space, NY; Lehman College Art Gallery, NY (2023), Fahrenheit Madrid, Spain; Nathalie Karg Gallery, NY (2021), Liberal Arts Roxbury, NY; Monya Rowe Gallery, NY (2020). Her work has been reviewed in Art Forum, Art in America, ARTnews, The New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Time Out New York, Hyperallergic, and other publications.