While attending art school in New Jersey Valeri Larko began painting plein air landscapes and soon turned to the industrial settings in and around the city for her subject matter. She worked outdoors, experimenting with panoramic views of industrial parks and close up portraits of tanks and machinery. The artist’s early encounters with New Jersey’s urban landscape solidified a relationship with the subject matter that continues to inspire her. Her recent work, all painted on location, encompasses the waterways, bridges, highways, warehouses, factories, power lines, and machinery found along the edges of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Undoubtedly the desolate locales must be unnerving for a lone female painter, but Larko manages to instill each scene with a diffident charm and quiet humanity.
“Valeri Larko: Urban Landscapes,” Hunterdon Museum, Clinton, NJ. Through June 21.
“Valeri Larko: Bronx Studies,” Bronx Borough President’s Art Gallery, The Bronx County Building, The Bronx, NY. Through September 10, 2009. Opening reception: Wednesday, June 17 6-8 pm.