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Barbara's Bio

Barbara Rachko was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in a New York City suburb. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in psychology. After college, Barbara earned a commercial pilot's license and Boeing 727 flight engineer's certificate, then spent seven years on active duty as a Naval officer.

In 1986 while working at the Pentagon, she began to study figure drawing and medical anatomy, and began many long years of developing her craft. Barbara subsequently resigned from active duty (but remained in the Navy Reserve and retired as a Commander) to devote herself to making art. On 9/11 Barbara's life was changed forever when her husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was killed on the plane that hit the Pentagon.

Dividing her time between residences in New York and Alexandria, Virginia, Barbara enjoys a busy career as a professional artist. She is represented by six galleries throughout the United States, exhibits nationally and internationally, and continues to win accolades, including completion of Ajira's Emerge 2000 business program for artists, a 2008 – 2009 Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation award, and grants from the Templar Trust in Lichtenstein.

Visit her Facebook page, and her blog barbararachkoscoloreddust.com for the latest updates. A Yale radio podcast is at museumofnonvisibleart.com and Barbara's first eBook, "From Pilot to Painter," is available on Amazon. View Barbara's new bio on Wikipedia here.

 

Bolivianos

In reality the festive masks made of stucco or cloth which the dancers wear to cover their psychological masks of submission, indifference and self-inflicted censure, permit them to show their true faces. By virtue of this paradoxical covering to uncover, all the unconfessed desires, the repressed energies and the hidden resentments overflow in a torrent of color, movement and melody: a magnificent awakening of a sleeping culture.

Masks of the Bolivian Andes, Editorial Equipus and Banco Mercantil



My long-standing fascination with traditional masks took a leap forward in the spring of 2017 when I visited the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore in La Paz, Bolivia. One particular exhibition on view, with more than fifty festival masks, was completely spell-binding.

The masks were old and had been crafted in Oruro, a former tin-mining center about 140 miles south of La Paz on the cold Altiplano (elevation 12,000’). Depicting important figures from Bolivian folklore traditions, the masks were created for use in Carnival celebrations that happen each year in late February or early March.

Carnival in Oruro revolves around three great dances. The dance of “The Incas” records the conquest and death of Atahualpa, the Inca emperor when the Spanish arrived in 1532. “The Morenada” dance was once assumed to represent black slaves who worked in the mines, but the truth is more complicated (and uncertain) since only mitayo Indians were permitted to do this work. The dance of “The Diablada” depicts Saint Michael fighting against Lucifer and the seven deadly sins. The latter were originally disguised in seven different masks derived from medieval Christian symbols and mostly devoid of pre-Columbian elements (except for totemic animals that became attached to Christianity after the Conquest). Typically, in these dances the cock represents Pride, the dog Envy, the pig Greed, the female devil Lust, etc.

The exhibition in La Paz was stunning and dramatic. Each mask was meticulously installed against a dark black wall and strategically spotlighted so that it became alive. The whole effect was uncanny. The masks looked like 3D versions of my “Black Paintings,” a pastel paintings series I have been creating for ten years. This experience was a gift… I could hardly believe my good fortune!

Knowing I was looking at the birth of a new series – I said as much to my companions as I remained behind while they explored other parts of the museum – I spent considerable time composing photographs. Consequently, I have enough reference material to create new pastel paintings in the studio for several years. The series, entitled “Bolivianos,” is arguably my strongest and most striking work to date.

Barbara Rachko is an American contemporary artist and author who divides her time between residences in New York City and Alexandria, VA. She is best known for her pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, her eBook, “From Pilot to Painter,” and her blog, “Barbara Rachko’s Colored Dust.”

Barbara has led an extraordinary, inspiring life. She learned to fly at the age of 25 and became a commercial pilot and Boeing-727 flight engineer before joining the Navy.

As a Naval officer she spent many years working at the Pentagon and retired as a Commander.

On 9/11 her husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was tragically killed on the plane that hit the Pentagon.

Barbara uses her large collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art – masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys – to create one-of-a-kind pastel-on-sandpaper paintings that combine reality and fantasy and depict personal narratives. Her paintings are bold, vibrant, and extremely unusual.

New York critic Peter Dellolio remarks, “It is undeniable that, like de Chirico, Barbara Rachko has created a unique, original, and very private landscape.”

Arts writer Ann Landi writes, “Barbara Rachko’s antecedents are not in the folk art traditions of the cultures she studies and embraces, but rather in the sophisticated strategies of Henry Matisse (who was a master at mixing patterns) and Edgar Degas (who exploited the power of oblique angles and cropped figures).”

Barbara exhibits nationally and internationally and has won many awards during her 30+ years as a professional artist.

 

Gods And Monsters

"[Man Ray freed] photography from its documentary function to become an object in its own right; an object that could just as well be used to conjure the world of dream as its more common employment in capturing the world of everyday vision." - Anthony Shelton in Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens
(Continues Below)



I am drawn to Mexican and Guatemalan cultural objects—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—for reasons similar to those of Man Ray and the modernists, who in their case were drawn to African art. On trips to southern Mexico and Guatemala I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my photographs. How, why, when, and where these objects come into my life is an important part of the process. I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past—most have been used in religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home I read prodigiously and find out as much about them as I can.

The chromogenic prints in the Gods and Monsters series are experiments in which I relinquish control. Basic picture-taking techniques, like focusing and composing an image in the rangefinder, are abandoned. I use film and eschew digital manipulations in both shooting and printing the images. I photograph through colored plastic gels to add shapes and colors, to abstract and otherwise render details unrecognizable, and to create dreamlike scenarios. Each image is an unrepeatable surprise. Always I am letting go, breaking habits learned as a painter and a photographer, exploring, and seeing what will happen. In this series I am “painting with a camera,” creating variations that free my camera from being a mechanical recording device of what lies before it.

Click to view Barbara's e-book on Amazon!




 

Domestic Threats

The Domestic Threats series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings uses Mexican folk art—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—in a lively blend of reality and fantasy. On trips to central Mexico I spend much of my time in the local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my paintings. I enjoy the fact that I take objects with a unique Mexican past—most have been used in various religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home, I read prodigiously and find out as much about them as I can. I use these objects not only as surrogates for human actors, but as potent symbols: an amalgam of child hood memories, half-forgotten dreams, and images encountered in literature, pre-columbian art, and cinema (especially German silent films and movies by Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles). This work has been evolving for more than a decade. The imagery is autobiographical and very personal, but has universal associations.
(Continues Below)


All of the pastel paintings use my West Village apartment or a 72-year-old Sears house in Virginia as a backdrop. These are places where I live so the realities of my everyday surroundings are an essential part of the work. Director-style, I select and arrange a group of folk art figures in a room in my apartment. I light the scene using two or more tungsten studio lights to create dramatic, mysterious and unexplainable shadows. The setup is typically left in place for several weeks. During that time, I work out placement, lighting, design, and, most importantly, a narrative about the interaction that is occurring between the “actors.” (The narrative is often hinted at in the painting’s title).

When everything is ready, I shoot two color negatives with a 4"×5" view camera. Using a 24” x 20” photograph for reference, I create a pastel painting of 58"×38" in size (normally a three to four month process). I also make smaller works (which also involve several months), but prefer the greater challenge of working in large format. Blending with my fingers, I painstakingly apply dozens of layers of soft pastel onto the acid-free sandpaper. My self-invented technique achieves rich textures and vibrant colors. I believe I am pushing pastel to its limits, using it in ways that no one else has done.

 

BLACK PAINTINGS

“The assimilation of styles and motifs from African cultural artifacts into the work of avant-garde artists was a means of challenging conventional western aesthetic values and hierarchies that reflected what those artists perceived as a vacuous and moribund society. In looking to these sources to invigorate their own creative visions, what these artists actually discovered were new ways of seeing and making art.” - Wendy Grossman in “Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens”




I am drawn to Mexican and Guatemalan cultural objects—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—for reasons similar to those of Man Ray and the modernists, who in their case were drawn to African art. On trips to southern Mexico and Guatemala I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my pastel paintings and photographs. How, why, when, and where these objects come into my life is an important part of the process. I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past—most have been used in religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home I read prodigiously and find out as much about them as I can.

The Black Paintings series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings grew directly from the earlier Domestic Threats. Both series use cultural objects as surrogates for human beings acting in mysterious, highly-charged narratives. In the Black Paintings the figures (actors) now take central stage. All background details, furniture, rugs, etc. are eliminated and are replaced by intense dark black pastel. Each painting takes months to complete as I slowly build up as many as 30 layers of soft pastel.

The idea for the Black Paintings began when I attended a jazz history course and learned how Miles Davis developed cool jazz from bebop. In bebop the notes were played hard and fast as musicians showcased their technical virtuosity. Cool jazz was a much more relaxed style with fewer notes, i.e., the music was pared down to its essentials. Similarly my current series evolved from dense, complex visual compositions into paintings that depict only the essential elements—the actors.

Begun in 2007 this is my most personal body of work to date. The black background symbolizes death and emptiness as the actors are emerging from a deeply painful state. Although the Black Paintings series was created out of profound pain, each image manifests irrepressible optimism.

 

Black Paintings

“The assimilation of styles and motifs from African cultural artifacts into the work of avant-garde artists was a means of challenging conventional western aesthetic values and hierarchies that reflected what those artists perceived as a vacuous and moribund society. In looking to these sources to invigorate their own creative visions, what these artists actually discovered were new ways of seeing and making art.” - Wendy Grossman in “Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens”
(Continues Below)



I am drawn to Mexican and Guatemalan cultural objects—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys—for reasons similar to those of Man Ray and the modernists, who in their case were drawn to African art. On trips to Mexico and Guatemala I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will populate my pastel paintings and photographs. How, why, when, and where these objects come into my life is an important part of my creative process. I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past—many have been used in religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home I read prodigously and find out as much about them as I can.

The Black Paintings series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings grew directly from the earlier Domestic Threats. Both series use cultural objects as surrogates for human beings acting in mysterious, highly-charged narratives. In the Black Paintings the figures (actors) take central stage. All background details, furniture, rugs, etc. are eliminated and replaced by intense dark black pastel. Each painting takes months to complete as I slowly layer and blend up to 30 layers of soft pastel.

The idea for the Black Paintings began when I attended a jazz history course and learned how Miles Davis developed cool jazz from bebop. In bebop the notes were played hard and fast as musicians showcased their technical virtuosity. Cool jazz was a much more relaxed style with fewer notes, i.e., the music was pared down to its essentials. Similarly my current series evolved from dense, complex visual compositions into paintings that depict only the essential elements—the actors. As the series evolves what is left out becomes increasingly more important, resulting in more demands being placed on the viewer.

Q: What experiences with art led you to pursue your studio practice?


That is such a long and complicated story! I grew up in a blue collar family in suburban New Jersey. My father was a television repairman for RCA. My mother worked in a factory for a while, but mostly she stayed home to raise my sisters and me. My parents were both first-generation Americans and in those days I don’t believe anyone in my extended family had ever gone to college. I was a pretty smart kid. I must have shown some artistic talent in kindergarten or first grade. I was able to draw anything, as long as I could see it, and I was unusually sensitive to minute variations in color and light. At the age of 6 my mother enrolled me in Saturday morning painting classes at the studio of an artist in a neighboring town. I continued the classes for about 8 years and became a fairly adept oil painter.

Living in Clifton, just 12 miles from New York City, my mother took my sister and me to museums, particularly the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Museum of Natural History. As a kid I remember falling in love with Rousseau’s "The Sleeping Gypsy" and being astonished by the scale and violence of Picasso’s "Guernica" when it was on long-term loan at MoMA. I have fond memories of seeing the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History. Indeed, they are still my favorite part of the museum. I suppose it goes without saying that there were not any artists in my family. At the age of 15 my father decided that art was not a serious pursuit – he said it was a hobby, not a profession – so he abruptly stopped paying for my lessons. With no financial and no moral support, I turned my attention to other pursuits and let my artistic abilities lie dormant.

I suppose things would have remained that way – an artist neglecting her talent – but fast forward ahead to when I was 33-years-old, a lieutenant on active duty in the Navy, working at a soul-crushing job as a computer analyst on the midnight shift in a sub-basement of the Pentagon. Literally, one could not go any lower! Indeed I was miserable, but you do not give the Navy two weeks notice and leave. Remembering the joyful Saturdays of my youth, I enrolled in a drawing class in a suburban Virginia art school. It was hard work and at first I wasn’t very good, but wow, I was having so much fun!

Soon I was signed up for 5 classes each semester, basically turning myself into a full-time art student while working at the Pentagon full-time. As I studied and got better, I discovered my preferred medium – soft pastel on sandpaper – and began inventing new ways to use it. In 1989 I said goodbye to the active duty Navy, although I decided to remain in the Navy Reserve in order to have a part-time income. For the next 14 years I worked two days each month and two weeks a year for the Navy and finally on November 1, 2003, I retired as a Commander.

From the beginning in the mid-1980’s I had a studio. My first one was in the spare bedroom of the Alexandria, Virginia, house that I shared with Bryan. In 1997 an opportunity to move to New York arose and I didn’t look back. By then I was showing in a good 57th Street gallery, Brewster Arts (as they focused exclusively on Latin American artists, I was flattered that Leonora Carrington and I were their only non-Latin artists), and I had managed to find a New York agent with whom to do business. I looked at one other space before finding my West 29th Street studio, where I still work. It was and continues to be my oasis in a chaotic city, a place to read, to think, and to make art.


Q: Please speak about your background as an aviator and how that informed your sensibility as an artist.


At the age of 25 I got my private pilot’s license before spending the next two years amassing thousands of hours of flight time as I earned every license and rating I could, ending with a Boeing-727 flight engineer certificate. I joined the Navy when I was 29. I used to think that the 7 years I spent on active duty were wasted – during those 7 years I should have been working on my art – but I see things differently now. The Navy taught me to be disciplined, to be goal-oriented and focused, to love challenges, and in everything I do, to pay attention to the details. Trying to make it as an artist in New York is nothing BUT challenges so these qualities serve me well, whether I’m creating paintings, shooting and printing photographs, or trying to understand the art business. I generally enjoy spending long solitary hours working to become a better artist. I am meticulous about craft and will not let a work out of my studio or out of the darkroom until it is as good as I can make it.


Q: You shared a passion with photography with your husband who died in the September 11 attacks. How did your husband and the tragedy of September 11 influence your creative direction?


When Bryan was alive I barely picked up a camera, except to photograph things encountered during our travels. Through the 1990’s I worked on my first series of pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, called "Domestic Threats." These were realistic depictions of elaborate scenes that I staged in my house, and later, in my New York apartment, using the Mexican masks, carved wooden animals, and other folk art figures that I found on our trips to Mexico. I staged and lit these setups, while Bryan photographed them for me using his 4 x 5 view camera. Having been introduced to photography by his father at the age of 6 or 7, Bryan was a terrific amateur photographer. He would shoot two pieces of 4 x 5 film and I would select one to make into a 20 x 24 photograph. The photograph would be my starting point for making the pastel painting. I work from life, too, but I could not make a painting without mostly looking at a reference photo.

On September 11, 2001, Bryan, who was a high-ranking federal government employee, a brilliant economist and a budget analyst at the Pentagon, was en route to Monterey, CA to give his monthly guest lecture for a class at the Naval Postgraduate College. His plane was the one that was high jacked and crashed into the Pentagon. It was the biggest shock of my life, devastating in every possible way! I suppose I will forever think about how easily I could have been killed that day. First, I had declined to travel with Bryan to California, a place I absolutely love, because the planned visit was too short. Second, his plane crashed directly into my (Navy Reserve) office on the fifth floor, E-ring of the Pentagon. I still imagine the terrible irony of Bryan being killed on the plane and me perishing in the building.

The six months after 9/11 passed by in a blur, except that I vividly remember a ceremony at the DAR Hall in Washington, DC, in which I was picked up by a black Department of Defense limousine, sat with members of the president’s cabinet, accepted a posthumous award for Bryan, and was addressed face-to-face by George Bush, Jr. The following spring I was ready to – I HAD to – get back to work so my first challenge was to learn how to use Bryan’s 4 x 5 view camera. I enrolled in a one-week view camera workshop at the International Center of Photography in New York. Much to my surprise I already knew quite a lot from watching Bryan. I was soon on my way to working again.

After the initial workshop, which I had enjoyed tremendously, I decided to start over with the basics since I had never formally studied photography. I threw myself into learning this new medium. I enrolled in a series of classes at ICP, starting with Photography I. Along the way I learned to use Bryan’s extensive camera collection (old Leicas, Nikons, Mamiyas, and more) and to make my own large chromogenic prints. In October 2009 it was extremely gratifying to have my first solo photography exhibition with HP Garcia. I remember tearing up at the opening as I imagined Bryan looking down at me with his beautiful smile, beaming as he surely would have, so proud of me for having become a photographer.


Q: What first intrigued you about Mexico and its pantheon of Aztec gods and goddesses?


In the early 90’s Bryan and I made our first trip to Oaxaca and to Mexico City. At the time I had become fascinated with the Mexican "Day of the Dead" celebrations so our trip was timed to see these firsthand. Along with busloads of other tourists, we visited several cemeteries in small Oaxacan towns. The Mexicans tending their ancestor’s graves were so dignified and so gracious, even with so many mostly-American tourists tromping around on a sacred night, that I couldn’t help being taken with these beautiful people and their beliefs, or I should say, the little that I understood about their beliefs at the time. From Oaxaca we traveled to Mexico City, where again I was entranced, but this time by the rich and ancient history.

On that first trip we visited the Anthropology Museum, where I was introduced to the fascinating story of ancient Meso-American civilizations and it is still one of my favorite museums in the world; the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which the Aztecs discovered as an abandoned city and then occupied as their own; and the Templo Mayor, the historic center of the Aztec empire, infamous as a place of human sacrifice . I was astounded! Why had I never learned in school about Mexico, this highly-developed cradle of western civilization in our own hemisphere, when so much class time had been devoted to the cultures of Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere? When I returned home I began reading everything I could find about ancient Mexican civilizations, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, and Maya. This first trip to Mexico opened up a whole new world and was to profoundly influence my future work. I would return many more times.


Q: Your "Gods and Monsters" exhibition at HP Garcia Gallery consisted of tableaux of Mexican figures that were photographed in a way that blurred certain elements to abstraction while privileging others in clear focus. Please speak about your process and goals for this work.


When I depict the Mexican (and more recently, Guatemalan) figures in my pastel paintings they are hard-edged, vibrant, and in-your-face. That’s a result of the way I work in pastel. I slowly and meticulously build up layers of pigment, blend it with my fingers, continually refine and try to find the best, most eye-popping colors. It’s a process that takes months of work. When I began photographing these figures, I wanted to take the same subject matter and give it an entirely different treatment. So these images are deliberately soft-focus, dreamy, and mysterious. I use a medium-format camera and shoot film. I choose a narrow depth of focus.

I hold gels in front of the scene to blur it and to provide unexpected areas of color. Even as a photographer I am a colorist. I want this work to surprise me and it does since I don’t usually know what images I will get when I press the shutter. I only know what I’ve shot after I see a contact sheet. My "Gods and Monsters" series began entirely as a reaction to my pastel work. The latter is so meticulous and labor-intensive. At a certain point in the process I know what the finished painting will look like, but there are still weeks of slow work ahead. My photographic work is spontaneous, serendipitous, and provides me with much-needed instant gratification. I love having two diametrically opposed ways of working with the same subject.


Q: Is there an overarching narrative in your photographs with Mexican and Guatemalan figures?


Maybe, but that’s something for the viewer to judge. I never specify what my work is about. My thinking about its meanings constantly changes and I wouldn’t want to cut off other people’s interpretations. I heard Annie Leibovitz interviewed a few days ago on the radio. She said that after 40 years as a photographer, everything just gets richer. It doesn’t get easier, it just gets richer. I’ve been a painter for 26 years, a photographer for 9, and I agree completely. Creating this work is an endlessly fascinating intellectual journey.


Q: Your new work explores relationships to figures through the medium of pastel. What prompted this departure from photography?


As I’ve discussed I was a maker of pastel paintings long before I became a photographer. However, the photos in the "Gods and Monsters" series were meant to be photographs in their own right, i.e., they were not made to be reference material for paintings. In an interesting turn of events a few years ago I started a new series, "Black Paintings," which uses these photos as source material. People tell me the work is my strongest yet. We’ll see where it leads.


Q: What are you working on currently in the studio?


I am putting finishing touches on a large pastel painting and am far along on a small one. I am printing new photographs in the darkroom. A few months ago I bought my first digital SLR camera and am experimenting with it. What a powerful and exciting new tool! The most recent work depicts figures that I found in Chichicastenango and Panajachel. I took my first trip to Guatemala in 2009 and returned to see other parts of the country in 2010. At the moment I am intrigued by the Maya. Many people don’t realize that there are present-day Maya living in the more remote villages of Guatemala. Unlike the Aztec, their ancestors brilliantly managed to resist conquest so they not only survived, they were never stripped of their belief systems. On my second trip to Guatemala I got to watch healers performing shamanistic rituals of ancient origin. In 2011 for an artist living in New York it is quite extraordinary to think that there are still places in the world where such practices are part of daily life.

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15 JAN - 19 FEB 12

"Art to the Point"
Katonah Museum of Art
Katonah, NY
"The Sovereign"
pastel 58" x 38"
"Blue Misterioso"
pastel 58" x 38"



3 Dec 10 - 29 Jan 11

"Pulp Friction"
James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
"Alpha" pastel 22" x 26"
"Paranoia" pastel 22" x 26"
"Stasis" pastel 26" x 22"
2 framed 24" x 24" c-prints



27 Feb - 28 Mar 11

"Past Forward"
Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA
"Alpha" pastel 22" x 26"
"Paranoia" pastel 22" x 26"
"Stasis" pastel 26" x 22"
"Stigmata" pastel 28" x 48"
"Heightened" pastel 22" x 26"



4 Mar - 14 Mar 11

"Pandemonium: Inaugural Preview Exhibition"
New York Center of Photography and the Moving Image (NYCPMI),
580 Eighth Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY



22 Mar - 22 Jun 11

"Bazar"
Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
1 framed 24" x 24" c-print
1 framed 16" x 20" c-print



3 Dec 2010 - 29 Jan 2011

"Pulp Friction"
James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
"Alpha" pastel 22" x 26"
"Paranoia" pastel 22" x 26"
"Stasis" pastel 26" x 22"



27 Feb - 28 Mar 11

"Past Forward"
Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA
"Alpha" pastel 22" x 26"
"Paranoia" pastel 22" x 26"
"Stasis" pastel 26" x 22"
"Stigmata" pastel 28" x 48"
"Heightened" pastel 22" x 26"



July 2010

Huffington Post
Article in the Huffington Post
"Should Artists Publish Their Own Catalogues?"







27 Feb - 28 Mar 2010

"Target Gallery" Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA
"Alpha"
"Paranoia"
"Stasis"
"Stigmata"
"Stasis"
"Heightened"



26 Feb 09 - 2 Mar 09

Exhibiting photographs at ArtExpo, Booth # 2415,
Artisan Direct, Pittsford, NY
Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY.



7 Jun 09

Award Winner, Lenore Sagan Visual Arts Awards,
Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, New York, NY
Hollis Taggart Galleries, 958 Madison Avenue, New York, NY.
"Honorable Mention Artist" by the Joyce Dutka Foundation
for the 2008 -2009 competition. A reception and awards presentation
will take place on June 7, 2009 from 5 - 8 p.m. at Hollis Taggart
Galleries, 958 Madison Avenue, New York, NY.



29 Sep - 24 Oct 09

Barbara Rachko: Gods and Monsters
H.P. Garcia Gallery - 580 Eighth Avenue,
7th Fl., New York, NY
Photographs
There will be an artist's reception on 7 Oct 09, from 6 - 8 p.m.
A catalog is available:
Twelve framed 24" x 24" c-prints
Two framed 16" x 20" c-prints



13 Nov 08 - 10 Jan 08

Red, group exhibition
Located on the third floor of Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue at West 57th Street, NYC
"Scene Eighteen: Living Room,"
pastel 26" x 20"

"Scene Twelve: Living Room,"
pastel, 26" x 20"

One framed 24" x 24" c-print


3 Jun 08 - 28 Jun 08

A solo exhibition - "Out of the Black: Pastel Paintings
And Photographs by Barbara Rachko"
New Art Center, New York, NY
"The Sovereign"
pastel 58" x 38"

"Who Can Be Sure of Anything?"
pastel 38" x 58"

"Heightened"
pastel 22" x 26"

"Between"
pastel 22" x 26"

Three framed 24" x 24" c-prints


1 Jun 08 - 18 Oct 08

Modes of Expression, group exhibition
Deloitte, New York, NY
"Scene Twenty: Living Room"
pastel 26" x 22"

"Scene Eighteen: Living Room"
pastel 26" x 22"

"Scene Seventeen: Living Room"
pastel 26" x 22"

"Scene Fifteen: Living Room"
pastel 26" x 22"

one framed 16" x 20" c-print


30 Sep - 25 Nov 08

Solo Exhibition
1st Presbyterian Church, New York, NY
"Scene Twenty-One: Living Room," pastel 22" x 26"
2 framed 24" x 24" c-prints
1 framed 18" x 18" c-print
7 framed 16" x 20" c-prints



30 Sep 08 - 21 Dec 08

Timeless: The Art of Drawing, group exhibition
Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
"Between" pastel 22" x 26"


7 Aug 07 - 31 Oct 07

Gods and Monsters
Capital One Headquarters McLean VA
12 framed 16" x 20" c-prints
4 framed 24" x 24" c-prints
Scene Twenty-One: Living Room


4 Apr 06 - 30 Jun 06

About Face
A group exhibition at ArtHaus in San Francisco
Artwork on display:
"His Mortal Enemy Was Poised, Ready to Strike,"

"Scene Three: Living Room"

2 framed 16" x 20" c-prints.


26 Feb 06 - 2 Apr 06

Azarian McCullough Art Gallery
Azarian McCullough Art Gallery, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY
Artwork on display:
"He Still Tried to Protect Her"

"Scene Eighteen: Living Room"

"Scene Seventeen: Living Room"

"Scene Fifteen: Living Room"

"Truth Betrayed By Innocence"

"Scene Twelve: Living Room"

"Answering the Call"

"Practical Advice on waiting"

"No Cure for Insomnia"

4 framed 16" x 20" c-prints


29 Jan 06 - 9 Mar 06

Anthony Giordano Gallery
Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
Artwork on display:
"At First He Vehemently Denied the Accusation"

"He Didn't Take Seriously the Threat from Below"

"His Sudden Return was not Entirely Welcome"

"The Magical Other"

4 framed 24" x 24" c-prints


14 Mar 05 - 30 Apr 05

Scenes: Pastels by Barbara Rachko
Crown Center Gallery presents drawings by
New York artist Barbara Rachko

Chicago, March 7, 2005: Loyola University Chicago's Crown Center Gallery and the Fine Arts Department are pleased to present a group of recent pastel drawings by New York artist Barbara Rachko. The exhibit, entitled "Scenes", will run March 14 through April 30. The exhibit will feature several large scale pastel paintings that describe a "scene" or set-up environment. Each painting represents a movie still, animating her doll and papier-mache figures with brilliant color, dramatic lighting and placement. The surface of the pastel paintings is rich and sumptuous, yet the overall effect of Rachko's is one of impending gloom or dread. The spaces are tight and confined, the angles of her compositions are tilted and off-setting. They are curious pieces that engage the viewer on many levels.


Ms. Rachko received her B.A. from the University of Vermont, Burlington, and has gone on to exhibit her work in numerous exhibitions and competition throughout the United States and abroad. She has won many awards for her multi-layered pastel paintings and has been invited to exhibit her work in two Whitney Biennials. New York critic Peter Dellolio has proclaimed her "the most original artist to emerge in the last decade", while ArtistsOwnRegistry.com.au has selected her as one of the "Top Ten World Artists."


An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, March 18, from 5 to 8pm.

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 10 am - 3 pm, and by appointment.

The gallery is located on the lakeshore campus at 1001 W. Loyola Ave., 2nd floor, of the Robert Crown Center for the Humanities Building.

Admission is Free.

and by appointment;
P: 773.508.3811
F: 773.508.2282

Artwork in the show:
"She Embraced It and Grew Stronger"
"Truth Betrayed By Innocence"
"Practical Advice on Waiting"
"No Cure for Insomnia"
"He Was So in Need of Botany"
"Scene Eighteen: Living Room"
"Scene Sixteen: Living Room"
"Scene Fifteen: Living Room"
"Scene Thirteen: Bathroom"


Postponed

Definition of Moments, two-person exhibition
Yajnavalka, Houston, TX
"A Promise Meant to be Broken"
pastel 58" x 38"

"Sometimes He Still Tried to Restrain Her"
pastel 58" x 38"

"She Embraced It and Grew Stronger"
pastel 58" x 38"

"Truth Betrayed by Innocence"
58" x 38"

"Practical Advice on Waiting"
58" x 38"

5 framed 24" x 24" c-prints

Q: Why Mexican dolls and folk objects?


In 1991 as a Christmas present my future sister-in-law, Iris, sent two brightly painted wooden figures from Oaxaca. One was a large, winged, dark blue and white polka-dotted horse, the other a bear, painted with red, white, and black lines and dots and with a quizzical look on its face. At that time I was living in Alexandria, Virginia, studying at the Art league School, and finally working as a full-time professional artist, having recently resigned after seven years on active duty as a Naval officer (I was working part-time at the Pentagon as a Naval Reservist). I was looking for something new to paint, since I had decided that I was not cut out to be a portrait artist.

I had never seen anything like these painted Oaxacan objects and was enthralled. Oaxaca was new to me and except for a weekend road trip in 1975 from Berkeley, CA to Ensenada, Mexico, I had not been to Mexico. I started asking my artist-friends about Oaxaca and soon learned that the city has a unique style of painting, the self-titled Oaxacan school, and that Rufino Tamayo and Manuel and Lola Alvarez Bravo, the well known photographers, were from Oaxaca. (Indeed Manuel Alvarez Bravo had founded an important photography museum there). Of course I had long been a fan of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Leonora Carrington, and other well-known artists associated with Mexico and I had long been interested in Pre-Columbian civilizations. Further, I had some limited knowledge of Spanish after studying it in high school. I began reading everything I could find about Oaxaca in particular and more generally about Mexico. I soon became fascinated with the Mexican Day of the Dead.

In 1992 my future husband, Bryan, and I made our first trip to Mexico, spending a week in Oaxaca to watch the Day of the Dead observances in local cemeteries and to study Mixtec and Zapotec ruins (Monte Alban, Yagul, Mitla, etc.); followed by a week in Mexico City to see Diego Rivera's murals at the Ministry of Education, Frida Kahlo's Casa Azul, and ancient archeological sites (the Templo Mayor, Teotihuacan, etc.).

I began collecting Mexican folk art on that first trip. I still have fond memories of locating my first acquisition, a big wooden, cob-web-covered half dragon, half Conquistador mask that Bryan and I found high on a wall in a dusty Oaxacan mask shop and hand carried on the plane, putting rolled up socks on its feet to protect its toes from being accidentally broken! I have been back to Mexico many times, mainly visiting central and southern Mexico. I love the light, the colors, and the sights of the high desert plateau. When I say "Mexico" to most Americans their first thoughts are of "beautiful beaches," but I have never been to a Mexican beach. I travel there to study Pre-Columbian history, archeology, mythology, culture, and the arts. It is an endlessly fascinating place!


Q: How large is your current collection of Mexican folk objects?


I haven't counted them, but I would guess around 200 pieces of various sizes, if you also include the Guatemalan figures. I started going to Guatemala last year and just returned from my second trip. I divide my time between my house in Alexandria, VA, an apartment in the West Village in Manhattan, and my studio in Chelsea. The figures are everywhere I am.


Q: You liken your pieces to scenes in a movie. Is there an audition process? What qualities must a doll possess to be cast in one of your paintings?


There's not an audition process, but I do feel like they call out to me somehow when I'm searching the markets and bazaars of Mexico and Guatemala for objects to bring back to paint and photograph. Color is very important - the brighter and the more eye catching the patterns are the better - plus they must be unique and have lots of personality. I try not to buy anything mass-produced or obviously made for the tourist trade. The objects must have been used or otherwise look like they've had a life (i.e., been part of religious festivities) to draw my attention. How and where an object comes into my possession is an important part of my artistic process. Finding, buying, and getting them back to the U.S. is always circuitous, but it's also an adventure and often a good story.

Here is a recent example. Two weeks ago I was in a small town on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, called Panajachel, a place which isn't often visited by foreign tourists. After returning from a boat ride across the lake, my friends and I were walking back to our hotel when we discovered a wonderful mask store. I spent some time looking around, made my selections, and was ready to buy five exquisitely-made standing wooden figures, when I learned that Tomas, the store owner, did not accept credit cards. I was heart-broken and thought, "That's it. I'll just have to leave them behind." However, thanks to my good friend, Donna, whose Spanish is much more fluent than mine, the three of us brain-stormed until finally Tomas had an idea. I could pay for the figures at the hotel up the block and in a few days when the hotel was paid by the credit card company, the hotel would pay Tomas. Fabulous!

Tomas, Donna, and I walked to the hotel, where the transaction was made and the first hurdle was overcome. Working out the packing and shipping arrangements took another hour or two, but during that time Tomas and I became friends and exchanged telephone numbers (the store didn't have a telephone so he gave me the phone number of the post office next door, saying that when I called, he could easily run next door!). Surprisingly the package was waiting for me in New York when I returned home from Guatemala. All five figures from Panajachel are lined up on the floor in my living room awaiting their debut appearance in a painting.

When I set up a scene for a painting, I work very intuitively so how the objects were actually cast in a painting is difficult to say. Looks count a lot - I selected an object and put it in a particular place, looked at it, moved it or let it stay, and began developing a storyline. I spent time arranging lights and looking for interesting cast shadows. All of this was done so that Bryan, my late husband, could shoot a couple of negatives with his 4" x 5" view camera.

I would have a 20" x 24" photograph made to use for reference as I make the painting, plus I also worked from the "live" objects. The earliest Domestic Threats paintings were set in my Virginia house, but in 1997, I moved to a six floor walk up in New York. For the next few years my paintings were set there, until 2001 when I moved to my current apartment. In a sense the work is a visual autobiography that hints at where I've lived and what my day to day domestic surroundings have been like.


Q: Can you elaborate on the series title, Domestic Threats?


This sounds prosaic but all of the paintings in this series are set in my personal domestic environment, in places where I reside or have resided, either my Virginia house or my New York apartment(s). Each painting typically contains a conflict of some sort, at least one figure who is being menaced or threatened by a group of figures. So the title seemed an obvious choice. Depending on what is going on in the country at a particular moment in time, people have prescribed political associations to my work, and I suppose some of those are valid.

Artists are influenced by everything, whether we are conscious of it or not. Since my husband was killed on 9/11, many people thought the title Domestic Threats was prescient. They have ascribed all kinds of domestic terrorism associations to it, but that is not really what I had in mind. For a time some thought I was hinting at scenes of domestic violence, but that also is not what I had intended. The titleDomestic Threats means quite different things to everyone.


Q: There is a voyeuristic quality to your paintings. Perhaps it is because we are seeing objects most would consider inanimate acting out these complex scenes you’ve created for them. Where do the stories come from?


When I used to set up the figures for Bryan to photograph, I made up stories about what was happening. Being an artist has lots of negatives, but one of the fun parts is that sometimes we get to act like big kids! Some of the stories came from movies, mythology, folk tales, or dreams. I read a lot and I love stories of all kinds. I try to be open to all sorts of influences. You never know what will work its way in to enrich your art.


Q: Do the dolls go on to play different roles in different series or are their characters recurring?


The dolls and other objects play different roles in each painting and I paint them differently to reflect this. If you take one doll and follow it through the series, you'll notice that it evolves so that it never looks the same in any two paintings. I continue to think of each object as an actor in a repertory company.


Q: In your paintings, we occasionally catch a glimpse of blond haired female whom I assume is you. Are you also playing a character or do you appear as yourself?


I am playing myself. It's a bit self-conscious, but I like to include myself now and then. As I've said, I used to be a portrait artist so this is one way to keep up my technical skills. Beyond that when I'm in the painting it gives another level of reality to the scene depicted. I prefer not to analyze it too much.


Q: There is plenty of joyful and vibrant color in your work, but shadows are also ever-present. I would almost go as far as calling them the supporting players of your compositions. Can you elaborate on their importance and significance?


When I arranged the set ups, I spent a lot of time lighting the scenes in search of interesting cast shadows. At one point the shadows became so important that I thought of them as physical objects in their own right. I made them very prominent and gave them added emphasis. Often they had no relation to the object depicted as I gave them any shape that looked good in the painting. When I go to art galleries and museums, I always look at the shadows surrounding three dimensional objects. How less visually satisfying Calder's mobiles and stabiles would be without their shadows on the wall! I find shadows constantly intriguing.


Q: If your dolls could talk, what might they say about you as a director?


I hope they would say that I am very focused, that I know exactly what I am after, and that I use all the skills and knowledge I have acquired in 24 years as a painter (8 as a photographer) to make art that is worthwhile and meaningful.


Q: Your paintings are full-blown productions. You take great care to not only cast them, but to choose the right sets and lighting for them. Would you consider making films?


In the late 1990s I seriously considered it - I studied film at the New School and at New York University - but ultimately I decided to stay with painting. A well-made film will be seen by more people than a painting ever will, but the finances of making it are daunting. Historically visual artists have achieved mixed results when they have turned to filmmaking. Cindy Sherman was not very good at it, but Shirin Neshat's recent feature film is promising. Julian Schnabel is arguably a much better filmmaker than he ever was a painter. Most importantly for me, filmmaking is a collaboration. I love the time I spend alone in my studio and prefer having control over and being fully responsible for the results. It would be difficult to give this up.


Q: What are you currently working on?


In 2007 I began the Black Paintings series, which grew directly out of the Domestic Threats. It is a pared-down version of earlier iconography and evolved directly from my relatively recent photography studies. After I lost Bryan on 9/11 (as I alluded to, Bryan photographed most of the set ups for my Domestic Threats series), I needed to find a way to continue working. In 2002 I began studying photography at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Soon I began working seriously as a photographer and my new photographic work, the Gods and Monsters series, has been well received. I had my first solo photography exhibition in October 2009 with HP Garcia Gallery in New York (see http://www.nyartsmagazine.com/) and am getting ready for my next solo show there in May 2011. It will include recent photographs and new work from the Black Paintings series.

 

SOLD WORKS

If you own Barbara's pastel paintings or photographs and they're not pictured here, please contact her.




2018 Invitational Exhibition, NYC Phoenix Art, New York, NY

Fusion Art, Palm Springs, CA (online)

2011 “Barbara Rachko: The Black Paintings,” Gallery Gray, Minneapolis, MN

2009 “Barbara Rachko: Gods and Monsters,” HP Garcia Gallery, New York, NY

2008 “Out of the Black: Pastel Paintings and Photographs,” New Art Center, New York, NY; curated by Barbara MacAdam, deputy editor, ARTnews

Art at First, New York, NY

2007 “Gods and Monsters,” Capital One Art Gallery, McLean, VA

2006 Azarian McCullough Art Gallery, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY

2005 Blackstone River Gallery, Woonsocket, RI

Artspace, Richmond, VA

“Scenes,” Crown Center Gallery, Loyola University, Chicago, IL

“Domestic Threats,” Joy Pratt Markham Gallery, The Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR

2004 Edward Williams Gallery, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ

Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA

“Domestic Threats,” Louise Jones Brown Gallery, Duke University, Durham, NC

2001 Olin Gallery, Roanoke College, Salem, VA

2000 La MaMa La Galleria, New York, NY

1999 “There is No Place Like Home,” Park Avenue Atrium, New York, NY; curated by Leah Poller, director, Art Alliance, New York, NY

1998 Broadway Windows, New York, NY

“There is No Place like Home,” Mercedes-Benz Manhattan ArtSpace, NYC; curated by Leah Poller

“Through the Window,” Doll-Anstadt Gallery, Burlington, VT

1996 “Monkey Business,” Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY (two-person show)

479 Gallery, New York, NY

Watchung Art Center, Watchung, NJ

School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD

1995 Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

Howard County Community College, Columbia, MD

1993 Cunneen-Hackett Art Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY

Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA

1992 Capitol Hill Art League, Washington, DC

2019 “Worlds Seen & Unseen,” Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY

2018 “Art Without Borders,” Madison, NH

“Mystical Forces,” Salomon Arts, New York, NY Emillions, Naples, FL

2017 “Blk Clok,” Art Basel, Reach Brickell City Centre, Miami, FL; represented by Emillions, Naples, FL

Miami River Art Fair, Miami, FL; represented by Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund, Art Historian

Art Below Regent’s Park, London, England

Le Dame Gallery, London, England

ARTROOMS, Melia White House Hotel, Regent’s Park, London, England

2016 Old Truman Brewery, London, England

Art Below and Gallery Orange, New Orleans, LA

2015 Art Busan, Korea, represented by Space 776, Brooklyn, NY

Affordable Art fair, Hong Kong; represented by Space 776, Brooklyn, NY

James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

2014 Aqua Art Miami, The Aqua Hotel, Miami Beach, FL; represented by Space 776, Brooklyn, NY

Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, NJ (three person exhibition)

“Age of Innocence,” Studio 5404, Massapequa, NY

James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

2013 James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL,

2012 “Art to the Point,” Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; selected by Donald Sultan

MUSECPMI, New York, NY

James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

2011 “Pandemonium: Inaugural Preview Exhibition,” The New York Center of Photography and the Moving Image, New York, NY

James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

“Bazar,” Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

2010 HP Garcia Gallery, New York, NY

“Artists for Haiti,” Contemporary Art Network, auction in support of Doctors Without Borders for Haitian earthquake relief

“Pulp Friction,” James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

“Past Forward,” Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA (four-person show)

“Define: Art,” Betty Dare Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

2009 Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation award winners, Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY

Rogue Space, New York, NY

Artexpo, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY; Artisan Direct, Pittsford,NY

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

ArtHaus, San Francisco, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2008 “Timeless: The Art of Drawing,” Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

CANcer, New Art Center, New York, NY

“Modes of Expression,” Deloitte and Touche, New York, NY

ReynoldsWolfe, Center 44, New York, NY

“Animals in Your Kingdom,” Micro Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ; curated by Carter Foster, curator, department of drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Artwell Gallery, Torrington, CT

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

Hefton-Page Fine Art, Blue Ridge, GA

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

“Figurative Works by Gallery and Guest Artists,” “Outward Appearances,” and “About Face,” ArtHaus, San Francisco, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2007 "Zen of the Artist," Broome Street Gallery, New York, NY

“Red,” Bergdorf Goodman, New York, NY; curated by Serge Gregorian, director, Contemporary Artists Network, New York, NY

“SCAN,” New Art Center, New York, NY

“Clear Blue Tuesday,” movie directed by Elizabeth Lucas; the artist and her work appeared in a gallery opening scene

“Free Play,” Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

Hefton-Page Fine Art, Blue Ridge, GA

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

“Masters’ Mystery Art Show,” Ritz Carlton, Art Basel Miami Beach, FL

“five x seven,” Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX and “five x seven – on the road: Houston,” Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston, TX

ArtHaus, San Francisco, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2006 “Between Body and Object,” Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY; curated by Pam Brown, gallery director

“Postcards from the Edge,” Sikkema, Jenkins, New York, NY

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

Hefton-Page Fine Art, Blue Ridge, GA

Longstreth Goldberg, Naples, FL

“Masters’ Mystery Art Show,” Ritz Carlton, Art Basel Miami Beach, FL

“Big Fun,” “About Face,” ArtHaus, San Francisco, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2005 Room With a View Gallery, Shangai, China

“Night of a Thousand Drawings,” Artists Space, New York, NY

“Multiple Oneness,” Park-Art Gallery, New York, NY

“Au Courant,” A Space Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (three-person show)

Gallery Z, Providence, RI

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

Art Struck Gallery, Blue Ridge, GA

Longstreth and Goldberg, Naples, FL

Margeaux Kurtie Modern Art, Madrid, NM

“House Party - Celebrating 15 Years of Breast Cancer Action,” ArtHaus, San Francisco, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

Permanent Collection Loan, Main Library, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

2004 “What an Art Gallery Should Actually Look Like (Large Glass),” Exit Art, New York, NY; curated by Michele Thursz and Anne Ellegood

“Night of a Thousand Drawings,” Artists Space, New York, NY

“Play Things,” Kirkland Art Center, Clinton, NY; curated by John Rossis

“The Drawing Show,” Old Church Cultural Center School of Art, Demarest, NJ; curated by Mary Murray, gallery director

“National Drawing 2004,” The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

“Art of Survival,” Herspace, West Long Branch, NJ; curated by Nanci Hersh, artist

“Looking In/Looking Out,” Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT; curated by Ellen Pliskin, artist

“Embodiment: Myths in Animal Form,” PostPicasso.com, Richmond, VA; curated by Ursula Ilse-Neuman, curator, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY

“Critical Mass,” 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA; curated by Peter Schjeldahl, critic, The New Yorker

Artway Gallery, Brampton, Ontario

“Masters’ Mystery Art Show,” Ritz Carlton, Art Basel Miami Beach, FL

Padulo Longstreth and Goldberg, Naples, FL

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

Margeaux Kurtie Modern Art, Madrid, NM

“Integrate/Disintegrate,” Visual Arts Gallery, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

Permanent Collection Loan, Main Library, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2003 “Fighting Back: An Exhibition in Support of the Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women,” Kyoritsu Women’s College, Tokyo, Japan

Phyllis Weil & Company, New York, NY

Monique Goldstrom, New York, NY

“Suspended Narratives,” Fine Arts Center Galleries, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI; curated by Judith Tolnick, gallery director

Boston Corporate Art, Boston, MA

“Fetish and Ritual,” Bruce Gallery of Art, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA; curated by William Mathie, gallery director

Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH

“Little Gems,” Padulo Longstreth and Goldberg, Naples, FL

“International Works on Paper,” William Whipple Art Gallery, Southwest State U., Marshall, MN

Margeaux Kurtie Modern Art, Madrid, NM

Permanent Collection Loan, Main Library, Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM

Gallery Bergelli, Larkspur, CA

1212 Gallery, Burlingame, CA

2002 Art Alliance, New York, NY

“Continuity,” La Mama La Galleria, New York, NY

“Chromatic Intrigues,” Seton Hall University, Newark, NJ; curated by Stephen Sennott, director, City With-out Walls, Newark, NJ

“The Insomnia Show,” City With-out Walls, Newark, NJ; curated by Lori Field and Elizabeth Seaton, artists

Boston Corporate Art, Boston, MA

“All Dolled Up,” Suffolk Museum, Suffolk, VA, and Ellipse Art Center, Arlington, VA; curated by Trudi Van Dyke, director, Ellipse Art Center and Nancy Kinzinger, director, Suffolk Museum, Suffolk, VA

“Extraordinary Things: A Study of Contemporary Art Through Material Culture,” University Art Gallery, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN; curated by Kaz McCue, gallery director Padulo Longstreth and Goldberg, Naples, FL

Margeaux Kurtie Modern Art, Madrid, NM

Gallery Bergelli, Larkspur, CA

2001 Art Alliance, New York, NY

Boston Corporate Art, Boston, MA

KLFine Arts, Highland Park, IL

Doll-Anstadt Gallery, Burlington, VT

“Go Figure,” Gallery Bergelli, Larkspur, CA

Steve Stein Gallery, Sherman Oaks, CA

2000 Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY

Art Alliance, New York, NY

“Emerge2000,” Aljira, Newark, NJ; curated by Richard Klein, assistant director, Aldrich

Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT

“Extraordinary Things: A Study of Contemporary Art through Material Culture,” University Gallery,

University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT; curated by Kaz McCue, gallery director Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, NJ

Doll-Anstadt Gallery, Burlington, VT

James Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

KL Fine Arts, Highland Park, IL

“Latin Influences,” Gallery Bergelli, Larkspur, CA

Steve Stein Gallery, Sherman Oaks, CA

1999 Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY

Art Alliance, New York, NY

KL Fine Arts, Highland Park, IL

1998 Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY

Art Alliance, New York, NY

“The Biennial at Ben Shahn Galleries: Lines of Direction,” William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

1997 Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY

"Realities III," “Realities IV,” Art Alliance, NYC; traveled to Fenton Moore Gallery, Buffalo, NY

New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit NJ

1996 Brewster Arts Ltd., New York, NY

"Realities: International Contemporary Realism," and "Realities II," Art Alliance, New York, NY

New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

1995 “National Midyear Exhibition,” Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

1994 Gallery Juno, New York, NY

“Irene Leach Memorial Exhibition,” Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA

“American Drawing Biennial,” Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA

1993 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY

Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, PA

1992 “American Drawing Biennial,” Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA

Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, FL

1991 Sumner Museum, Washington, DC

Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, PA

2018 “Barbara Rachko – USA,” Galleria Banditto blog, Montefollonico, SI, Italy.

Interview in Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, Bolivia. (See bibliography)

“Barbara Rachko – From Pentagon to Painter,” interview with Elisa Pritzker for ABC latino Magazine. (See bibliography)

“Meet Trailblazer Barbara Rachko,” interview with VoyageMIA, Miami, FL.

Invitational Exhibition, NYC Phoenix Art, New York, NY

Artist’s Talk with Barnaby Ruhe at Salomon Arts Gallery, New York, NY

Listed on Artsy with Fusion Art, Palm Springs, CA

2017 “From Pilot to Painter” (eBook) available on iTunes

Listed on Artsy with Emillions Art, Naples, FL

2016 Represented by Gallerique, Chicago, IL

2015 Website redesigned and translated into Spanish and Portuguese for the South American audience

Listed on Artsy with Space 776, Brooklyn, NY

Winner, AIR Gallery Studio Visit Lottery, Brooklyn, NY

2014 Published first eBook, “From Pilot to Painter,” on Amazon

Interviewed by Brainard Carey for Yale Radio WYBC

Wikipedia bio published

First listing on Artsy, Tabla Rasa, Brooklyn, NY

2013 Selected for a fellowship to the New York School of Art Independent Study Program

2012 A Grant from the Templar Trust, Liechtenstein for a monograph, published by MUSECPMI, New York, NY

2011 Nominated for the Freedom to Create Prize, Singapore

2010 Grants from The Templar Trust, Liechtenstein, and the Midtown West Arts Association, New York, for a solo exhibition at H P Garcia Gallery, New York, NY

2009 Award Winner, Lenore Sagan Visual Arts Awards, Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, New York, NY Grants from The Templar Trust, Liechtenstein, and the Midtown West Arts Association, New York, NY, for a solo exhibition at H P Garcia Gallery, New York, NY

2007 CAN Fellowship Recipient, Contemporary Art Network, New York, NY; selected by Barbara MacAdam, deputy editor, ARTnews

2000 Chosen for the inaugural class, “Emerge2000,” Aljira, Newark, NJ; selected by Richard Klein, assistant director, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT

(See http://barbararachko.com/en/about-barbara-rachko/press and http://barbararachko.com/en/about-barbara2 for links to online press)

Adelson, Fred B. “Fall arts season offers invigorating sense of renewal,” (Review), Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, NJ, September 27, 2014. (Reproduction)

Aptaker, Ann, and Miller, Stephen. Timeless: The Art of Drawing, (Catalogue), Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, 2008. (Reproduction)

Awodey, Mark. “Southern Culture,” (Exhibition Review), Seven Days (Burlington, VT), Oct. 28, 1998. (Reproduction)

Birke, Judy. “Exploring Art-Making’s Internal and External Worlds,” (Review), New Haven (CT) Register,

Sept. 26, 2004.

Bischoff, Dan. “Art by Hand: Regional Drawing Throughout the Century,” (Review), Star Ledger, (Newark, NJ), October 4, 2008.

Bischoff, Dan. “A World of Art,” (Review), Star Ledger, (Newark, NJ), February 17, 2006.

Bischoff, Dan. “Insomnia Exhibit is a Real Eye-Opener,” (Review), Star Ledger, (Newark, NJ),

March 24, 2002. (Reproduction)

Bischoff, Dan. “Gallery Celebrates 25 Years in the Vanguard,” (Review), Star-Ledger, Sept. 17, 2000. (Reproduction)

Bischoff, Dan. “Farewell Heralds New Beginnings,” (Review), Star-Ledger, March 23, 2000. (Reproduction)

Braff, Phyllis. "Works that Create and Hold Energy," (Review), The New York Times, Nov. 17, 1996. (Reproduction)

CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Corvallis, OR, Vol. 22:1, Summer 2004. (Reproductions)

Candia, Elizabeth Leyva. “Barbara Rachko habla de su obsession por el mundo andino,” Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, Bolivia, July 29, 2018. (Reproductions)

Carey, Brainard. “Barbara Rachko: Interviews by Brainard Carey from Yale radio WYBC,” (Podcast), Feb. 10, 2014.

Coates, Jason. “All Mixed Up: Artspace’s New Show includes Artists Whose Work Contrasts Sharply with Each Other,” (Exhibition Review), Style Weekly, Richmond, VA, Oct. 5, 2005. (Reproduction)

Collins, Erica. "Suspended Narratives: Provocative Works on Display in Kingston," (Review), The North Kingston Standard-Times (RI), Oct. 23 – 24, 2003.

Collins, Tom. "SFCC’s Exhibition Space One of City’s Best-Kept Secrets," (Review), Albuquerque (NM) Journal, Feb. 24, 2004.

Dellafiora, James. "From the Navy to Artist's Life," (Feature Article), The Villager (New York),

Aug. 28, 1996. (Reproduction)

Dellolio, Peter. “On Barbara Rachko,” (Critical Essay), March 18, 2016. (Reproductions)

ElGenaidi, Deena. “A View from the Easel,” Hyperallergic, October 22, 2018. (Reproduction)

Fighting Back: An Exhibition in Support of the Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, (Exhibition Catalogue), Amnesty International, Tokyo, Japan, March 2004. (Reproduction)

Fortwengler, Erica. “Juror’s Remarks,” (Article), Alexandria, VA, March 2010.

Fortwengler, Erica. “Barbara Rachko: Journey to Finding Success as an Artist,” (Feature Article), Developments, Alexandria, VA, Spring 2008. (Reproductions)

Gascot, John. “Domestic Threats,” (Article), Huffington Post, June 30, 2010. (Reproductions)

Grant, Daniel. “Self-Publishing a Catalogue,” (Feature Article), American Artist, February 2004. (Reproduction)

Haas, Cherie. “32 Insider Tips: Learn Secrets of Success From Past Finalists in the Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition,” (Feature Article), The Artist’s Magazine, December 2010.

Harrison, Helen. "With Luck, Iconoclasts Find Their Mediums," (Review), New York Times,

Feb. 18, 2006. (Reproduction)

Henry, Gerrit. “Barbara Rachko: Gods and Monsters,” Domestic Threats, (Catalogue), New York, NY, 2001, reprinted 2004. (Reproductions)

Konau, Britta. “He Urged Her to Abdicate and Film Noir,” Domestic Threats, (Catalogue), New York, NY, 2001, reprinted 2004. (Reproductions)

Kovalsky, Serena. “A Second Life for Mexican Folk Art,” Artful Vagabond, August 20, 2012. (Reproductions)

Klein, Richard. “Curator’s Remarks,” Aljira Emerge 2000 (Exhibition Catalogue), Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, March 9 - April 21, 2000. (Reproduction)

Landi, Ann. “What is a Drawing?” (Feature Article), Vasari21, October 10, 2016. (Reproduction)

Landi, Ann. “Show and Tell: The Dos and Don’ts of Studio Visits,” (Feature Article), ARTnews, September 2013. (Reproductions)

Langsam, Janet. “Curator’s Choice,” (Review), This and That, Westchester, NY, February 9, 2012.

Liburt, Ellen. "Violence, Sex, Greed, & Domination Pervade Brewster Arts Opening," (Review), Open Air New York, NY, Oct. 23, 1996. (Reproductions)

March, Nathan. "Miles Davis Destroys Creative Block" (Feature Article), Follow Magazine, (Adelaide, Australia), Jan. 31, 2017. (Reproductions)

March, Nathan. "Follow Magazine – Featured Interview!" (Feature Article),Follow Magazine, (Adelaide, Australia), Issue 05 , June 2016. (Reproductions)

Maya, Carey. "Art Between Structure and Being" (Review), The Suffolk County News, (Oakdale, NY), Feb.23, 2006. (Reproduction)

McCormack, Jeannie. “Barbara Rachko’s Surrogates for Our Inner Demons,” Gallery & Studio, (New York, NY), Nov.– Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007. (Reproduction)

McCue, Kaz. “Curator’s Statement,” Extraordinary Things: A Study of Contemporary Art Through Material Culture , (Exhibition Brochure), Indiana State University,Terra Haute, IN; Oct. 30 – Nov. 22, 2003. (Reproductions)

Mercado, Ashley and McGurk, John J. “The Erotic Art Show at the Blackstone River Gallery,” (Review), Agenda (Woonsocket, RI), April 14 – 28, 2005.

New American Paintings, Open Studio Press, Wellesley, MA; April 1998. (Reproductions)

Norris, Doug. "URI Show Ranges From the Surreal to the Sublime," (Review), South County Independent (Providence, RI), Oct. 23, 2003.

On the Issues Magazine, Winter 2009, Long Island City, NY. (Reproductions)

O’Shaughnessy, Tracey. “Pliskin, Curator and Artist, ‘Looking In/Looking Out,” (Review), The Sunday Republican, Chesire, CT, October 3, 2004.

The Pedestal Magazine.com, Charlotte, NC, June/July 2003. (Reproductions)

Phillips, Renee. "Art Entrepreneur: Are Juried Competitions Worth the Gamble," (Feature Article), Art Calendar, Dec. 2008. (Reproduction)

Poet Lore, Volume 91, Number 2, Ann Arbor, MI. (Reproductions, Front and Back Cover).

Pritzker, Elisa. “Barbara Rachko – From Pentagon to Painter,” (Feature Article), ABC latino Magazine, Poughkeepsie, NY, October 2018. (Cover, Reproductions)

Pritzker, Elisa. "Elisa Pritzker Talks Art: Artists Open Studios," (Feature Article), Delaware & Hudson Canvas, Nov. 2008.

Proskow, Christine. "The Year’s Best Art: Experimental," (Feature Article), The Artist's Magazine, Dec. 2007. (Reproduction)

Rachko, Barbara, and Drizin, Barbra, editor. “From Pilot to Painter,” (eBook), Amazon.com, Jan. 3, 2014. (Reproductions)

Rachko, Barbara. “Artist’s Remarks,” Fetish and Ritual, (Exhibition Brochure), Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA; Sept. 3 – 25, 2003. (Reproductions)

Rodriguez, Bill. “Dream Weavers: Suspended Narratives Explores Extra Dimensions,” (Review), The Providence (RI) Phoenix, Oct. 31 – Nov. 6, 2003.

Rothbart, Daniel. "A Conversation with Barbara Rachko," (Feature Article), ArteryNYC.com, Jan. 2012. (Reproductions)

Rothbart, Daniel. "Gods and Monsters," (Exhibition Review), NYArts , Spring 2010. (Reproductions)

Rutigliano, Dario. “An Interview with Barbara Rachko,” (Feature Article), ARTiculAcion Art Review, July 2014. (Reproductions)

Schaber, Greg. “Paint What’s Important,” (Feature Article), The Artist’s Sketchbook, Jan. 2003. (Reproductions)

Schaber, Greg. "Shifting Your Viewpoint," (Feature Article), The Artist's Magazine, Oct. 1997. (Reproductions)

Shaw, Kurt. "Exhibit Shows Paper to Be Anything But Plain," (Exhibition Review), Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 10, 2011.

Smith, Hannah. “Barbara Rachko has led an incredible life and suffered devastating loss, but through all this, creates wonderfully surrealist works,” (Feature Interview), ArtWeek, January 2017. (Reproductions)

Streitfield, Lisa Paul. “A Vision of Absence: How a Non-Commercial Contemporary Art Practice Bridges Colonial and Folk Art in Mexico,’” (Crtical Essay), Hermeneutics of New Moderism, October 30, 2018. (Reproductions)

Streitfield, Lisa Paul. “(R)evolution in Berlin: Golem Ushers in the Shadow Dialetic ,” (Exhibition Review), Huffington Post, December 2. 2016. (Reproduction)

Streitfield, Lisa Paul. “Reviving Pop: Barbara Rachko’s ‘Black Paintings,’” (Crtical Essay), Hermeneutics of New Moderism, November 4, 2016. (Reproductions)

Streitfield, Lisa Paul. “The Shadow Dialetic ,” (Critical Essay), Hermeneutics of New Moderism, November 4, 2016. (Reproduction)

Streitfield, Lisa Paul. “Barbara Rachko,” (Exhibition Catalogue). H.P. Garcia Gallery, New York, NY, Oct. 2009. (Reproductions)

Tolnick, Judith. “Curator’s Remarks,” Suspended Narratives, (Exhibition Brochure), University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, Oct. 9 – Dec. 8, 2003. (Reproductions)

Van Siclen, Bill. "At URI Gallery, Works That Will Give You Pause," (Review), Providence (RI) Journal, Nov. 6 – 9, 2003. (Reproduction)

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