Sunday, March 26, 2023
Please join us as KS member Ilana Manolson shares her story and presents selections of her artwork.
Canadian/American painter, printmaker, and naturalist Ilana Manolson is represented by galleries around the world. Her work has been exhibited at many museums and galleries and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Berkeley Museum, the Danforth Museum, the De Cordova Museum, the Boston Public Library, the Ballin Castle Museum, and numerous corporate collections.
She is a two-time winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship for Painting (2008-11 and 2018-21), and she also received the St. Botolph Artist Grant, Boston. Her residencies include the Banff Centre for the Arts residency where she was a Leighton Fellow, the Mass MOCA residency, the Ballinglen Arts Foundation residency (three times), Yaddo Artist Colony, and Banff School of Fine Arts.
“In my paintings, I talk about the consistency of change in nature and reflect on the human role in the change, ” shares Ilana. “My work speaks of the fragility of life and celebrates the glory of transition. I used to paint en plain air, taking paints, board and easel outside to be true to the scene in front of me.”
“Painting day after day at the same site, it became clear to me that what I wanted to paint was not a fixed and constant scene,” comments Ilana. “The light shifted, the weather changed, the leaves fell; moment to moment it was not the same place. I watched pond turn to meadow, meadow to forest and forest to concrete. I wanted to capture that. I have been expanding the context not just in terms of time but also space and causality. I paint the sum of my understanding of the landscape. I combine different scenes as well as different moments, conveying my sense of how they connect, how different landscapes impact each other, giving weight to elements of nature I remember and editing others. I reach into my pocket and use the rocks, acorns, and flowers that have traveled back with me from my hikes to anchor a piece, distorting the scene to capture the essence.”
She states” My experience of place is always filtered through memory. I exaggerate and edit. Even though a lot of the scenes look complete, they are the compilation of many miles walked over time. My paintings encompass something growing and something dying. The cycle of growth and death is the constant in nature and in my paintings. When I paint, I squint my eyes looking for the minute that stands in for the monumental.”