Dorothy Krakauer

Dorothy Krakauer
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International artist and curator, Dorothy works in oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, charcoal, pastel and photography. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries in New York including RIO II Gallery; Montserrat Contemporary Art Gallery; JMC Gallery; Spanish Benevolent Society Gallery; Fountain House Gallery; Elena AB Gallery Tribeca NY; NOHO NY; Hell’s Kitchen Artist Open Studio Tours; Art for Healing Gallery NYC; The Jackson Gallery of Art MCC; International Women Artists Salon; Jadite Galleries; and ArtExpoNYC. Dorothy is co-founder of Fountain House Gallery, New York, and continues to serve on the Gallery Steering Committee.

Her artwork appears in publications including Arte News Publishing Magazine, New York, London and Spain; ARTNews Summer 2014; Studio & Gallery Summer 2014; Talent in Motion Magazine, New York; The Edge, Hell’s Kitchen NYC; Fresh View AFHG NYC. From 1973-1975, Dorothy lived in Izmir, Turkey, where she supervised the renovation of the sanctuary and created an original oil painting of Saint Francis of Assisi, designated a National Art Treasure of Turkey, in the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.

Laughing

She also restored frescoes in the seventeenth century Church of Saint Polycarp in Izmir and did photography for books on Turkish culture. Her art awards include third place, NOHO NY 2013 Art Exhibit Photography Competition; honoree, International Women Artists Salon, New York; second place, Angel Orensanz Foundation Fourth International Artists Award, New York, Paris and Venice 2004; second place, Kordon Hotel International Art Exhibit, Izmir, Turkey; and the NATO Award for Women for her work in Turkey.

She studied oil painting in Tokyo, Japan, with Shunjiro Nakamura; photography at the University of Utah; drawing and painting from the live model at Massachusetts College of Art; and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her artwork has been exhibited worldwide and is in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Turkey, South and Central America.

Oak Leaf Fan

Answers:

Nature is my inspiration. Even as a child, I loved drawing and painting pictures of nature, including trees and leaves. I love traveling and creating my artwork on site. I am most proud of my original oil painting of Saint Francis of Assisi in the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Izmir, Turkey. The painting is a designated National Art Treasure of Turkey.

It is still amazing to me that this opportunity was given to me. I am an American woman and artist who was asked to create an original oil painting in a cathedral in a male-dominated Catholic church in a male-dominated Islamic country. I started making art in elementary school and won my first prize at age ten in the fifth grade. I make art because I love to create and am blessed with a marvelous talent.

Asian art has always been my favorite form of art. I love the combination of delicacy and strength of the works. My artwork is inspired by the Japanese movement of painting and design that emerged in Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868), known as Rinpa, a revitalization of Yamato-e.

Solitaire

Japanese-style painting developed in the ninth century. The works are characterized by a rich palette of colors, softly contoured landscapes, and emphasis on themes drawn from poetry and primarily secular subject matter. I studied oil painting in Japan. In my recent paintings, I attempt to create the effect of silk screens using paint and textured paper.

In 2014, I began experimenting with watercolors of individual leaves cradled like a “jewel” on metallic backgrounds. A program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on the creation of Japanese silk screens showed me how much the Rinpa tradition of abstracting an object of nature from its actual setting and still representing the object as realistic as possible influenced my paintings.

The building of the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Izmir, Turkey, was completed in 1874, so perhaps it qualifies as a museum. I like that my painting is still there on the wall. If I could display my art in a museum in the United States it would be a toss-up among the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Labor Day weekend 1999 I had gone out for dinner with a friend who was staying with me during her move to New York City. After dinner, 9:30 at night, as we were crossing in the middle of Ninth Avenue at West 47th Street, I turned to my friend and said, “I love this city.” The woman said, “I do, too. Let’s talk.”

The Feather

She was Esther Montanez, the director of special projects at Fountain House. She invited us to her apartment where we finished off a bottle of wine and talked until 1:30 in the morning about the dream of having an art gallery for the many talented artists who are members of Fountain House. Somehow, Esther knew that my experiences in life included being a visual artist, curator of artwork and helping to manage art galleries.

That evening was the beginning of many meetings with artists, employees of Fountain House, other volunteers and the architects designing the space, writing of a manual on how to work in and manage the gallery, curating of art shows for the gallery, working on the annual benefits, and bringing in community members to help make the gallery the success that it is.

Sometimes, I think I should leave Fountain House Gallery, but something keeps me there. We joke: “Esther and I are still talking.” Even more, I respect and admire the artists at the gallery for their courage, creativity, and dedication to the gallery and working to make their lives better. They inspire me!

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