Ira Barkoff’s Artwork Exhibit at the Canfin Gallery
The works of Litchfield-born painter Ira Barkoff are now on display at New York’s Canfin Gallery. The show’s sceneries look more like imagination than reality. Barkoff’s higher manner of painting, which reflects his preference for an immediate reaction to the power of location, time, and conditions above fidelity to a specific topic, draws viewers in.
Barkoff says his paintings are “neither realistic nor abstract.” My deepest thoughts and sentiments about nature are depicted in each painting. Despite first impressions, the paintings do not represent a specific time or location or depict a real-world woodland path. Unless the spiritual dimension is included. Beyond what can be observed in nature, I plan to build something new.
The artist maintains that, in the end, a landscape subject be it a group of trees, a field, or a scene at a specific time of day represents more than the sum of its physical and atmospheric parts.
Barkoff says this feeling is “the only thing worth putting into my paintings.” Poet and art critic Peter Campion claims that Barkoff’s creation method is mainly responsible for the richness of mood and meaning in the artist’s magical settings.
Campion comments on how Barkoff’s “heavier texture” results from his virtually exclusive usage of palette knives. He appreciates Barkoff’s sense of independence and his physical challenges. Simultaneously, he paints, a technique he finds to be quite moving.
Campion describes Barkoff’s “enduring affection for the natural world” as a source of his “emotional intensity.” It’s been nearly a decade since he painted in the open air. He continues to believe in his ideas and the notion that an artist may use nature to examine the integrity of his works.
Campion writes, “He’s a painter for whom two traditions blend, and this always shows in his work,” implying that Barkoff isn’t an Abstract Expressionist pretending to be an American landscape artist.
Barkoff studied under Robert Brackman and Robert Beverly Hale at the Art Students League in New York City, earning a bachelor’s degree. His artwork has been featured in several prestigious juried shows and has been displayed at several art galleries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and beyond. Collectors include the Mattatuck Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Pfizer Company, the late Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve), Nelson A. Rockefeller Jr., and Amy Taylor. Ira Barkoff’s paintings are on display at the Canfin Gallery, which may be reached at (914) 332-4554 or visited at 39 Main St, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA.