Thyme in the Studio: Art & Wellness

63 | Painting the pandemic with Katerina Lanfranco

Episode Notes

Have you ever heard someone speak and you could feel your brain firing off neurons, making connections and just going wild with excitement? That person is saying something you need to pay attention to. That was my reaction to an artist talk given about 9 years ago by today’s artist. Katerina Lanfranco helped spark my curiosity regarding the connection of nature and art which led me to start this podcast. Gold star for sparking this fire and a reminder that you never know what impact your actions can have on the future! 

You can check out Katerina’s work currently up at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery and the Sweet Lorraine Gallery in NYC. What is this work all about? Here’s more about her and her work:

At the core of my art practice is the act of exploring aspects of nature, science and fantasy. I collect, organize, and recombine images and objects from nature and everyday life. I make art as a way to ask questions about the world that I live in:

                      How do I make the invisible visible?
          At what point does fantasy become reality?
   How is our concept of nature a cultural construct?

What can we learn from natural forms, cycles, and rhythms?

My work seeks to explore the apparent duality of culture and nature, and the ways in which our understanding of nature informs our own identities. With each of my exhibitions I consider in the aesthetic experience of the viewer, and how the site-specificity of the show will evolve and develop in dialogue to the architectural setting of the space. I reference culture-specific modes of representing nature, such as botanical illustrations, floral fabric patterns, curio cabinets, scientific notes, dioramas, and panoramas. Symbolist and Visionary art traditions along with Romanticism and colorists such as the Fauvists and Les Nabis are great influences on my work. Landscapes, sacred geometry, natural disasters, natural history, biological structures, and genetic engineering are recurring themes. I am also interested in cultural conceptions of progress, systems of knowledge, and the problem of creating meaning in relation to the natural world.

My current body of work explores geometry and patterns found in nature combined with portraiture and landscape painting that explores emotions and psychology.

Katerina Lanfranco is an NYC-based artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York where she makes paintings, drawings, mixed media works, and sculptures. She was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and spent her early childhood in Berlin, Germany. As a teenager, she lived in Bangalore (Bangaluru), India. Lanfranco earned her BA in Art (Painting) and in Visual Theory and Museum Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and her MFA in Studio Art (Painting) from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) in Berlin, and the Corning Museum of Glass.

She is the recipient of several awards and residencies including Japan-US Creative Exchange Fellowship Artist-in-Residence Award; DNA Artist Residency, Sugar Shack Artist-in-Residence; Vermont Studio Center; Pollock Krasner Fellowship at the Byrdcliffe Artist Residency; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Artist in Residence with Flux Factory; Tony Smith Award (Hunter College); Hunter College Exchange Scholarship (UdK Berlin, Germany); William Graft Memorial Fund Travel Grant (to research High Baroque Italian painting). She has been invited as a guest artist and critic to colleges and residency programs in California, New York, Tennessee, and Florida. She writes NYC art reviews for the Art Blog based out of Philadelphia. Her work has been represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery since 2006. Lanfranco’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, and internationally in Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Kyoto, Japan. 


Lanfranco founded Rhombus Space in 2013, and was Chief Curator at Trestle Gallery from 2015 to 2018, where she is on the advisory board for the gallery. Recent shows include solo shows "Mystic Geometry" at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery, "Efflorescence" at the SCPS Gallery at Pratt Manhattan, “Talk to the Moon” at Day & Night Projects in Atlanta, Georgia, and “Shadow Light” at HOUSEGallery in Philadelphia. Her work has been reviewed in ARTnews, ARTinfo, and the New York Times.


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Music by Aaron Travers!