Elsie Kagan is a Brooklyn-based painter. She received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BA from Wesleyan University.
Throughout her career, Elsie has been committed to creating art that sparks dialogue and discourse. Her painting and works on paper pull various visual languages together into provocative interaction. Currently, she pairs imagery and stylistic devices from Northern European 16th and 17th Century painting and American Abstract Expressionism into large-scale, visually dense and exuberant paintings.
Kagan’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia Artists Alliance, the tART Collective, Galleria Galou, 440 Gallery, Brenda Taylor gallery, the Crane Arts Center, Rivington Design House Gallery, and Wesleyan University. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Flavorpill LA, artfagcity and other blogs, and the Brooklyn Record. Her public murals in the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere have received numerous awards and grants. Recently, she attended the Vermont Studio Center residency program on a fellowship from the Sustainable Arts Foundation.
I want to recapture the moment I awakened to painting as a girl, encountering a small Dutch oil sketch and feeling it was made precisely for me. Recent work draws from both 17th Century Northern European painting and live observation, fusing the form of familiar, older works with an attention to paint’s materiality; looking for both pictoral space and surface 'presence,' without sacrificing either. My work describes the way stems of a plant refract in water, and also how gravity pulls color down a surface, seeking that charged moment when paint is both a smear, and a cluster of blossoms.
b. 1977, Berkeley, CA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY