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Ellen Kozak’s New Paintings at David Richard Gallery

Ellen Kozak’s exhibition, Vigil: New Paintings, will be on view from November 27 through December 23, 2021, on the Ground Floor at David Richard Gallery located at 211 East 121 Street, New York, NY 10035, Phone: 212-882-1705.

Email: and website: Images of the artworks, installation views and videos will soon become available for viewing at the following link

Studio View, Reflections on water surface from passing river traffic, Hudson River, New York.

Click here to view the exhibition

About Ellen Kozak:


The Artist’s Statement: I grew up near water, learning to swim at an early age in the nearby Long Island Sound and on family vacations in Maine. Water is the source of life—it goes where it wants— at its own speed, in varied states, marking time, in an indifferent universe. It is the element that has always made the most sense to me.


In 1994 I began to paint on a field easel beside bodies of water. My studio sits on the shoreline of the Hudson River in Greene County. Prior to painting I worked in video during the mid 70s through mid 80s. During these decades video was an analog medium, the video signal traveling in a fluid stream of electrons. Fluidity is a shared property of both paint and video, the materials, and methods with which I work. This commonality creates a sympathetic relationship and an ongoing dialog between the concepts and inherent craft in each medium. Recently I’ve noticed an inverse relationship between my paintings and video; while my paintings collapse hours of observation into ostensibly still surfaces, my video pieces are typically composed from still images of the same subject, water, which by nature is in constant motion.
Ellen Kozak

Barges, Tugs and Tankers No. 23

Oil on panel


13 x 22″

Click here to view the artwork

Bodies of water are my subject, but I also depend upon their surfaces to perform a functional role, acting as an intermediary for indirectly observing the world above. Like a lens, the surface of a river can assimilate reflection, color, and pattern. The surface collects activity from the sky above, the movements of clouds, fog, foliage, planes in flight, and on the Hudson, barges that transport crude oil and hazardous material. Water and oil paint share properties of viscosity. I explore paint as a mimetic medium—it has an honest relationship with my subject.


Reflections, like mirrors, show us a version of the visible world, but they can also impose ambiguity about where things are and where one stands in space. This recalls sensations that I felt as a child while swimming. Uncertainty can undermine one’s sense of knowing, and the water’s transparency can cause displacement, bestowing optical illusions. I use this disorientation to confound my point of view and to help me step out of my own way as an observer. Indirect observation can create collisions and magnify attributes by imposing distance, both perceptual and psychological. Mediated observation can suggest metaphor and render what is known equivocal.
Ellen Kozak

Barges, Tugs and Tankers No. 26

Oil on panel


13 x 22″

Click here to view the artwork

Brief Bio: Ellen Kozak received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts and earned her MA in Visual Studies at from MIT, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Cambridge, MA. She has had 21 solo exhibitions and numerous group presentations in New York, nationally and internationally including multiple exhibition in France, Japan and Cuba. Kozak has received review in the The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art In America, Art & Antiques, Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald among others. Kozak was a Professor at Pratt Institute for more than 20 years and at Princeton University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago at Oxbow, University of Massachusetts. Boston, and Art New England at Bennington College.



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