"Of Things Soothsaid and Spoken": Paintings by Yevgeniya Baras

March 27, 2015 8:05 PM

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"Of Things Soothsaid and Spoken", paintings by Yevgeniya Baras, is the current show at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects. Baras makes paintings that disrupt expectations of format and stretch the bounds of what a painting is, by veering into sculptural relief, building up the painting surface with various 'weird' materials (aluminum foil and chunks of wood for example) on all parts of the support -- front, sides and back. My first impression was that the artist did so in the quest for contemporarity, a strategy that is its own artistic category -- how not to be perceived as old-fashioned while working from the traditions of modernism, in this case the symbol-driven, nature-derived imagery that Baras employs, harkening back to artists such as Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Paul Klee.

It occurs to me on further looking though, that rather than being strategic, her working methods derive from a physical and bodily response to the emotional and spiritual themes that thread through her work. To the degree that her work bespeaks spiritual experience, and it does, it is easy to imagin...

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