Check out Ilana Manolson’s Artwork

The Boston Voyager, December 18, 2018

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ilana Manolson.

Ilana, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which sits at the edge of the Rockies where you learn to read the vast open sky to see what the weather will be. When I was young, we moved to Montreal and we spent weekends in the Laurentians where the forests are thick.  There, I learned to navigate by looking closely at the growth of the forest floor. My two passions, being outside and art, were separate. After a year in Fiji working for the Canadian government after high school, I studied botany at Dawson and Goddard Colleges. While I was in Vermont, I worked as a puppeteer and made larger than life-size puppets for Bread and Puppet Theater.  I took my first job as a naturalist at Parks Canada Western Region where I returned to my roots in Alberta….

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At the Danforth: Artist Ilana Manolson mapping out her work

The Metrowest Daily News, Published November 18, 2012 by Chris Bergeron, Daily News Staff

Herman Melville, who chased real and imaginary whales, once said, “True places are never’’ found on any map. That might help explain Ilana Manolson’s fragmented chart composed of scraps of old maps and plaster, clumps of earth and ivy roots that covers two gallery walls in the Danforth Museum and School of Art.

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Artscope, September 1, 2010, by J. Fatima Martins

Approaching Manolson’s abstracted landscape paintings is a sensual experience — you’ll feel an immediate rush of attraction to and comfortable recognition of overlapping details mimicking rich organic life. Her style is quickly assessed — a blend of impressionistic color tones and gestural expressionism pulled together, evoking obvious themes. There are seasons in transition, vegetation at various levels of growth and decay, and the alternate movement of water and light exposing and concealing views within a swampy forest canopy — comfortable subject matter lulling you into a pleasant state of mind.

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Hot Color, Cool Observations

Susan and Kurt
Ilana Manolson's recent show at Jason McCoy surprised me. At first glance I was prepared to dislike it, the super heated color and oily feel of the paint put me off. But the more I looked the more I was drawn in.

Realist elements combined with fields of color abstraction give a riotous picture of the chaos of nature…

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Ilana Manolson paints the landscape

Artsake May 15, 2009

Ilana Manolson (MCC Painting Fellow ‘08) took a few moments to talk with ArtSake about her work and life.

What artists work do you admire most but paint nothing like? I really like Joan Snyder’s work because I feel like it is deeply personal, rich, and extremely brave work. And in my studio I have written on the wall, simplify, focus, and be brave. Her work, although I feel like it is nothing like mine, does that in a very personal way.

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Earthly Pleasures: Painter Ilana Manolson captures nature's ephemeral beauty

MetroWest Daily News, Published March 30, 2006 by Chris Bergeron

Taking a "frog's eye view," Ilana Manolson's paintings capture nature's fecund profusion in a small patch of her back yard.

The Concord artist mixes rich radiant colors to observe the ephemeral beauty of a clump of skunk cabbage or sunlight reflected of a weedy pond.

Manolson's recent paintings meld her earlier career as a botanist with an Impressionist's infatuation with the play of light on nature.

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Beyond the Categories: A Paint/Print Dialogue

Art New England Online, Published February 4, 2006 by Meredith Fife Day

When curator Ilana Manolson talks about this show, she refers as often to the "dance" between painting and printmaking as she does to the dialogue. The distinction between the two, and the inclusion of both, gives unity as well as enormous range to the work of the six artists exhibited. Manolson's own work as both a painter and printmaker gives a pronounced sensitivity to the excitement of process, this exhibit's ascendant theme.

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A Meeting of Mediums

The Boston Globe, Published October 21, 2005 by Cate McQuaid, Globe Correspondant

Ilana Manolson, better known as a printmaker, is showing her paintings at Clark Gallery - and they reveal a printmaker's touch. Painters build light by layering colors; printmakers let the light shine by leaving their plates bare and letting the paper show through. Manolson uses both techniques. In taking a frog's-eye view of pond life, putting us amid the reeds and water, she uses her paint the way she might use ink in a monotype, ranging from watery washed to more opaque, cleanly articulated forms.

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Artist finds inspiration in Concord's Macone's Pond

The Concord Journal, March 6, 2003

Ilana Manolson, a nationally recognized artist who lives and works in Concord, is having three shows in March. Two shows in Lincoln and Concord contain a Series of paintings she has made standing in the same spot at Macone's Pond in Concord, observing the water's edge in different seasons, different lights and different weather conditions. She says, "By staying in the same spot day after day, I find I get to see the surprises and the changes. I see the ups and down of pond life from a frog's eye view."

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Art Review: Beauty of these artworks printed dearly

Published March 2, 2001 by Cate McQuaid, Globe Staff

It's easy to conjure up the romantic image of an artist in his or her garret, toiling away alone to turn inspiration into art. Printmakers who rely on big presses to make their work don't often have that luxury of solitude. They invest with other artists in cooperative studios, where many people have access to the machinery of their medium. They end up having a different luxury: community.

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The Boston Globe, Published February 16, 2000 by Christine Temin, Globe Staff

What unites the solo shows two Boston artists at Clark Gallery - monoprints and paintings by Ilana Manolson and glazed stoneware vessels by Bruce Barry - is their shared organic quality. Manolson, who uses everyday objects to express emotional states, and whose exploding house series of many years ago suggested a world of disorder, here focuses on a simple flower bulb. Her world, the image suggests, has calmed down.

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Randall Beck Gallery / Boston. Ilana Manolson: The Unstill Life

Art New England, Published August 1, 1996 by Susan Maluski

Usually inanimate objects ascend, soar, rotate, and gyrate in Ilana Manolson's The Unstill Life, this accomplished artists fifth one-person show at the Randall Beck Gallery. In this likable exhibition, Manolson uses ordinary kitchen objects to show the motion and emotion of everyday life. The artist explains, "I try to capture the fragile balance of competing demands, as stacked plates or bowls strain to avoid falling." This kinetic crockery, with its connotation of home and hearth, captures the imbalance, upheaval, and strain of the domestic realm.

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Dancing Dishes; rocking horse winners; affable animals

The Boston Globe, Published April 25, 1996 by Cate McQuaid, Globe Correspondant

"Unstill Life," Ilana Manolson's show of monoprints at the Randall Beck Gallery, could alternately be titled "The Secret Life of Bowls." These prints, swirling with light and breathtaking color, take the domestic subject of many still lifes and set it spinning. The artist suggests in her statement that her works address the chaos of real life that belies the fragile order of a well-stocked china cabinet, but the sheer beauty of her images brings them head and shoulders above any frank discussion of disorder in the realm of magic.

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‘Nine Months’: Motherhood as Muse

The Boston Globe, Published July 21, 1994 by Nancy Stapen

Summer is the slowest time of the year in the galleries. One word that comes to mind is “barren”. Not at Howard Yezerski’s, though, where a show called “Nine Months: Art and Pregnancy” presents an unusual fertile offering.

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New Angles on Geometry

The Boston Globe, Published March 25, 1993

In her show of oil paintings and monotypes at the Randall Beck Gallery, Ilana Manolson continues her explorations of geometric forms in space. Previous works depicted cubes and spheres exploding into asymmetrical forms, suggesting degeneration and chaos. This series is more optimistic; the forms seem less driven by frenetic, out-of-control impulses, more in tune with nature's harmony.

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New Angles on Geometry

The Boston Globe, Published May 9, 1991 by Nancy Stapen

From skyscrapers to the ubiquitous black box, geometric units are such an intrinsic part of our experience, we hardly give them a moment's thought. But these primary organizers of space - in both the natural and manmade worlds - are the traditional building blocks of artists. The minimalism of the '60s, which venerated reduced geometric form at the expense of all embellishment, represents something of an apotheosis of this tendency; it remains a touchstone for many artists today.

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Exhibits: Changing Worlds

Published April 25, 1991 by Christine Temin

Ilana Manolson's art has an unsettled quality: in the past, one of her main subjects has been boxes---captured mid-explosion suggesting the end of a little world. Along with the sense of unease, though, there has been lusciousness to her work, thanks to her handling of paint, pastel and paper….

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The Boston Globe, Published November 1, 1988 by Christine Temin, Globe Staff

Teasing contradictions about space lurk in liana Manolson's big pastel/collage pieces, at the Randall Beck Gallery, 168 Newbury St-., through October 15. Manolson presents fractured architecture in these new works that are larger and less coy than her earlier ones. She once did charming little paper pieces that depicted exploding boxes; now she's more interested in stairwells, and her work is the more powerful for the shift in scale. She's now capable of creating swirling, hallucinatory spaces, filled with flying staircases that go unanchored to floors: To climb these stairs is to walk the plank.

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Interior Space: The 76th American Annual Exhibition

Newport Art Museum, Published October 1, 1988

Take a relatively static theme- interior spaces – and put twenty-six unstatic artists to work in a variety of media, and you come up with this lively exhibition. From the ethereal, Hooper-esque interior painting of artists like William Grainge and Marcia Lassar, to the imaginative creativity of such artists as Sandra Pirie, David Judelson and Ilana Manolson, this show succeeds in re-energizing a traditional and somewhat tired subject.

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