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Ellen Kozak
Orbit

2015

About

Ellen Kozak’s recent solo exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art included paintings and a commissioned work in video. She has had solo exhibits at The Hudson River Museum, Argazzi Art, Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, Nina Freudenheim Gallery, and Elizabeth Harris Gallery among others. Her paintings, prints and artists’ books are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Fogg Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution, the Hudson River Museum, and the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Art among others. I live beside the Hudson River, and my visual ideas come from closely observing its motion. Water and the elusive nature of color have long been my subject. I am a painter and also work with video. My paintings are simultaneously figurative and abstract; they are a record of perceptual experiences that I encounter on-site. Many of the perceptual tools I use are indirect: reflective surfaces of varied textures; lenses of different materials; optical phenomena such as afterimage. These mediated ways of looking can create collisions and magnify attributes, by imposing distance, both perceptual and psychological. I use the Hudson’s reflective surface itself as a giant and watery lens. Its watery plane collects activity from above: the movements of clouds, fog, foliage, birds, as well as planes in flight, oil tankers, barges and other man-made disturbances. Water and oil paint share properties of viscosity: paint directed by a brush emulates a river’s surface stirred by wind or pulled by tide. My connection to the river has grown beyond aesthetic engagement to include a sense of responsibility. Estuaries like the Hudson support essential and endangered ecosystems. I am a founding member of Riverkeeper’s Leadership Council, a watchdog organization that helps establish global standards for waterway and watershed protection. I have watched the Hudson’s level rise, and see its use too often taken for granted. Observing the river as an artist has opened my eyes to real-life ecological crises. Painting is a form of close observation and a way of inhabiting two worlds: the real world and the imagined idyll. The river has long been my subject, agent, muse and lens. Ellen Kozak was born in Queens, NY. She studied at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT and at the Massachusetts College of Art. She lives in NYC and in New Baltimore, NY in the Hudson River Valley.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent.
  • Dimensions

    H 30 in. x W 27 in. x D 1 in.

    H 76.2 cm x W 68.58 cm x D 2.54 cm

  • Gallery location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference number
    LU1722822073

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