Two Coats of Paint: Vera Iliatova: Women in the studio, now and then

Larissa Bates

Contributed by Larissa Bates / Vera Iliatova’s solo show “The Drawing Lesson,” on view at Nathalie Karg Gallery, offers cinematic montages of female artists at work in a Brooklyn studio. The nine gestural oil paintings in warm greys and buttery mauves, with skirted figures moving indoors to backlit space, mark a departure from the haunted pastoral landscapes of Iliatova’s previous exhibitions. The dappled light, painterly marks, and muted pallet of the composite narrative interiors bring to mind Susan Lichtman as well as Manet. Gritty barges, a consistent motif of Iliatova’s, chug up the East River, glimpsed through single-paned industrial windows. These and concrete floors are reminders of the post-industrial spaces carved into the Brooklyn studios where Iliatova has spent decades working. As Dudley Andrew observes in the press release, she renders the place of rendering, depicting young women as simultaneously busy and solitary.


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March 26, 2024