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ARTIST STATEMENT

I am dedicating all my work in the show to the memory of my Teacher, Alexandre Kapran.

The work in the present exhibition was done over the past three years during my stays in Italy and in Israel . Every piece is done from observation and constitutes a visual engagement with a place, be it an ancient ruin, a palazzo, or an anonymous residential structure. While trying to address the specific visual texture of each motif, I strive to distill the experience of nature to its essentials: a sense of form and a sense of light.

The way urban and natural forms catch light is what really makes up a motif.

Light can both reveal and distort the forms. But in either case, it invariably imposes a visual hierarchy and geometry on the fortuitous urban or natural mosaic. My work hopes to capture the ever-shifting geometry of light and to turn it into the geometry of a painting, into a pictorial order that would somehow reflect an experience of a motif. Communication of an experience is what, after-all, turns artifice into art.

The principal media I use are oil colors, and inks. The majority of the pieces in the exhibition are ink washes. It is an aqueous medium imposing numerous limitations. Ink's flow is hard to control; its contact with paper is irreversible. It gives only a frugal range of tones to operate with. But within the limitations of this simple yet demanding medium a sensitive application can open up its stunning potential to evoke the sensations of form, light, and space. These three principles are what I go after in my work.


BIOGRAPHY

Ilya Gefter was born in St. Petersburg , Russia in 1980, and lives in Canada since 1995. Ilya obtained his BFA with highest honors at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore , USA , where he was awarded a full tuition scholarship.

In 2001, Ilya studied at the Studio Art Centres International in Florence on a John Hirsh Scholarship for the Arts . He resided in Florence and traveled across Italy to study and copy the paintings and frescos of the Italian Renaissance. In 2003 Ilya was honoured with a Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant , which enabled him to travel to Italy for the second time and to study under Israel Hershberg at the International School of Art in Montecastello. In addition to his training in the visual arts, Ilya studied philosophy at York University in Toronto , Ontario .

Ilya was honoured with numerous awards that include the prestigious Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant , David Jacobs Scholarship , Academic Excellence Scholarship, John Hirsch Scholarship for the Arts, Art Gallery of Ontario Volunteer Committee Bursary Award , and a York University Entrance Scholarship.

As a part of his five solo and over 20 group exhibitions, Ilya's work has appeared in the Greater Toronto Area, Uxbridge, Port Perry, as well as in Baltimore , Maryland , in Jerusalem , Israel and in St. Petersburg , Russia . His pieces can be found in public and private collections in Canada , USA , Italy , Israel , Russia , and New Zealand .


CV

Born 1980, St. Petersburg
Lives and Works in Jerusalem

Education

2004 Jerusalem Studio School ; Jerusalem , Israel
2003 International School of Art ; Montecastello , Italy
2001 Studio Art Centers International ; Florence , Italy
1993-2000 BFA Summa cum Laude Maryland Institute; Baltimore , USA
1999 York University ; Toronto , Ontario , Canada


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2002 A Year in Italy , Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry , Ontario , Canada
          Works on Paper , Maryland Institute; Baltimore, USA
2001 Encore , Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry, Ontario , Canada
2000 Works Thus Far ", Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry , Ontario , Canada
1993 Ein karem Watercolours, Ein Karem, Jerusalem , Isreal


Selected Group Exhibitions

2005 Had Gadya , Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
2004 Group exhibition, XEXE Gallery; Toronto , Ontario
          Unusual Suspects , Gallery One; Toronto , Ontario
          Krasota, Invitational Show, Magic Door Gallery; Sunderland,Ontario
2003 The Contemporary Landscape/Cityscape
          Sheppard Art Gallery, Ellicott City , USA
          Work in Progress, Artspace Galley; Jerusalem , Israel
          Commencement Show, Meyerhoff Gallery, Maryland Institute, Baltimore , USA
2002 Painting Show, Main Gallery, Maryland Institute; Baltimore, USA
2001 Juried Undergraduate Exhibition , Maryland Institute; Baltimore , USA
2001 Drawing Show, Main Gallery, Maryland Institute; Baltimore , USA
2000, 2001 York Region Juried Exhibition
          Varley Art Gallery of Markham; Unionville, Ontario
2000 Juried Art Exhibition 2000
          Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts; Uxbridge, Ontario
          Oil and Water , Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry , Ontario
          Nudes, Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry, Ontario
          22 nd Juried Show of Fine Art, Visual Arts Mississauga; Mississauga, Ontario
1999, 2000 Scarborough Arts Council Annual Juried Art Show; Scarborough, Ontario
1999 Hands, Feet, Faces, Places, Veni Vidi Gallery; Port Perry, Ontario
          Open Juried Exhibition, Nelson Park Creative Centre; Toronto, Ontario
          Vaughan Arts Festival; Thornhill, Ontario


Grants and Awards

2003 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant
1999, 2001, 2003 John Hirsch Scholarship for the Arts; JIAS Canada
1999, 2000 YTV Achievement Awards Finalist; Visual Arts Category, YTV Canada
2000 Juror's Award of Merit; Annual York Region Juried Exhibition
1999 David Jacobs Full Tuition Scholarship; Maryland Institute, College of Art
          Academic Excellence Scholarship; Maryland Institute, College of Art
          York University Entrance Scholarship; York University
1997 Artist-in-residence; Kortright Center, Ontario Canada
1995 Volunteer Committee Award; Art Gallery of Ontario, A. TanenbaumGallery School