Glendale, CA, June 2-August 16
When Silvana Ambar moved to the United States from Armenia in 1994, her artistic talents immediately landed her a position as a background artist and later as an art director at major film studios. Ambar arrived in this country with some serious credentials, including a bachelor’s degree in painting and a master’s degree in architecture from Russian universities. Today, she occasionally keeps her hand in the film business, but her main creative focus is on Silvana Gallery, which she opened in 2010. The gallery represents top western-based artists such as Dan Beck, Jennifer McChristian, Calvin Liang, and Joseph Todorovitch.
In addition to her love of American fine art, Ambar also has a special passion for oil paintings from Russia and the Ukraine. This month the gallery presents its second annual Russian and Ukrainian Impressionist Show, a reprise of a successful show last year. The presentation features more than 100 oil paintings by 30 artists and opens with a reception on June 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. “This is the first time these paintings will be shown in America,” Ambar says. “The artworks are very beautiful, exhibiting fine technique— vivid colors, texture, and balance.”
The Russian and Ukrainian Impressionists display a distinct style characterized by thick treatment of paints mixed together, loose brush strokes, and intriguing compositions. Ambar says that collectors will appreciate that the paintings in the show are “really strong,” and that the artists included, such as Ruslan Ivashenko, Valeriy Shmatko, Angelica Privalihin, Alexandr Kryushin, Andrey Shirokov, and Vladimir Kovalyov, are among the most popular in their respective countries. Although there is a smattering of figurative and still-life works, the spotlight is on landscape paintings, including about 40 works that depict a picturesque mountain village in the Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains.
Most importantly, Ambar says, the works feature an incredible depth of feeling, a quality that first attracted her to the paintings. “The artworks are a direct, honest reaction to whatever the artists felt inspired to paint,” she says. “You can smell their flowers. You can feel the warm sun and the countryside atmosphere, and with their winter scenes you can feel the crisp, cold air. You can feel that these artworks have tremendous energy conveyed vividly and truthfully.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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