Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Painting of fruit in a glass. Image links to event page.



Exhibit Opening & Reception. Natalya Nesterova: The Creative Journey: Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation
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Please join the Harriman Institute for an opening of the exhibit Natalya Nesterova: The Creative Journey: Selections from the Kolodzei Art Foundation and reception.

This exhibition features a selection of paintings by the prominent artist Natalya Nesterova (1944-2022), which offers a glimpse into her creative process and celebrates her artistic journey. Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, including French modernism and works of the primitivist painter Niko Pirosmanishvili, Nesterova painted in a realistic manner, combining elements of theater and fantasy. She enjoyed the process of painting, the interplay of dynamic intensity of colors, relief, layers, texture, and surface. Her paintings are contemplative and symbolic, not bound to a particular historical period. Nesterova enjoyed painting in solitude, with books and playing cards as her companions in the creative process. While working and living in New York, she enjoyed the company of her friends.

Nesterova wrote about her artistic journey: “I work quite a lot, probably because I find the activity soothing; you forget about your misfortunes, or get annoyed at the fruits of seemingly fruitless work, or sink into thoughts of dear friends no longer with you. I try not to lose my face, though these days I can’t always recognize it in the mirror, and all the same, I want to preserve something I don’t have to be ashamed of. If I impart at least some joy to people, or if I rouse their interest, or annoy someone, then at least it means that I have touched their hearts, and it is for that, perhaps, that an artist works.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Harriman Institute from January 16 – March 8, 2024.