Artwork Of Ira Barkoff On Display At The Canfin Gallery

  • March 3, 2023
  • Blog

Ira Barkoff, a painter from Litchfield, is now exhibiting a small series of works at Canfin Gallery. The landscapes in the series are more fantastical than real.

Barkoff prefers an instinctive reaction to the force of location, time, and conditions above authenticity to a specific subject, which is reflected in the elevated style of his striking paintings, which capture the attention of spectators.

Barkoff claims his “neither realistic nor abstract” works fall under the latter category. Each piece is an in-depth expression of my innermost feelings regarding the outdoors. Despite appearances to the contrary, the paintings do not portray a particular period or place, nor do they show a real-world forest trail. Unless you count the spiritual aspect. My goal is to create something beyond what can be seen in the natural world.

The artist claims that, in the end, any landscape subject, be it a cluster of trees, a field, or any sight at a particular time of day, represents something more than the physical and even atmospheric elements of that setting.

According to Barkoff, “the only thing worth putting into my paintings” represents that emotion.

Peter Campion, poet and art critic, says that the depth of feeling and significance in Barkoff’s fantastical landscapes is mainly due to the artist’s manner of production.

Campion notes that Barkoff uses palette knives almost exclusively, resulting in “heavier texture,” He likes the mix of physicality and freedom Barkoff experiences. At the same time, he paints, a process the artist finds highly emotional.

In an essay about Barkoff’s work, Campion says, “You can see that feeling in a picture like ‘Turner Sky,’ where the enthusiastic application and the quick swings in value and temperature recall the great English painter to whom the title pays homage.”

Barkoff’s “emotional intensity” is bolstered by his “enduring affection for the natural world,” as Campion puts it. He last painted outside over a decade ago. Yet he still has faith in his themes, in the idea that nature will offer the most profound beauty against which an artist may test the integrity of his creations.

According to Campion, “He’s a painter for whom two traditions blend, and this always shows in his work,” thus, Barkoff isn’t an Abstract Expressionist masquerading as an American landscape artist.

Barkoff has a BA from Pratt Institute and attended the Art Students League in New York City to learn with Robert Brackman and Robert Beverly Hale.

Several juried exhibits have included his work, and he has shown them at numerous galleries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and abroad. Mattatuck Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, Pfizer Company, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr., and Amy Taylor are just a few of the corporate and private collectors that have acquired his work.

Canfin Gallery staff can be reached at (914) 332-4554, or you can visit 39 Main St, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA, to view paintings by Ira Barkoff.

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