Polyphony is the interweaving flow of musical voices that are at times contradictory, yet always harmoniously resolved. A melody found in the very construct of people. In her new paintings, New York-based artist Maria Kreyn presents the pictorial thesis that the individual’s mind and desires are polyphonic in essence.
With an old-world hand and a contemporary eye, Kreyn deconstructs and remixes classic myths and iconographic tropes using their fables of solitude, martyrdom, and desire to address our understanding of intimacy, gender, and self-identity. Surfaces move softly in and out of definition, setting visceral brush strokes against highly defined passages. These competing velocities conjure sensations of gentleness vs. aggression, aloneness vs. togetherness, wanting vs. fleeing. The artist creates a dialogue with our present-day emotional conflicts around agency and vulnerability elegantly stitching together a truth-bearing portrait of our world.
The exhibition merges together layers of paintings, sounds and motion- collective melodies that shape the musical fabric of Polyphony
About the Artist
Coming from a family of unusual thinkers and polymaths, Maria has crafted an unconventional, self-architected path, combining a interest in the sciences with a passion for the literary and poetic. After rigorous training in classical drawing, Maria studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Chicago. At 20 she left for Europe and during her years of traveling, she found herself the beneficiary of a lost tradition: an old school art apprenticeship.
She travelled to Norway to live and work alongside a master painter. Maria observed him and several other artists at work, which informed her approach to the technical side of drawing and painting. Her eclectic influences and bearings in the contemporary world aligned with her immersion and application of centuries-old painting techniques. After several months in rural Norway, she moved to Reykjavik and later to France, where she lived amidst history: an abandoned nineteenth-century library in Iceland and a chateau in the French valleys. Maria spent most of her time living in complete isolation, where inspiration was drawn from introspection and long months of absolute silence. It shaped her perception of the world and offered a new found understanding of time. An element that became her instrument and trademark. Maria encompasses the timeless spirit of baroque and renaissance art. An old world hand with a contemporary eye, she transcends it by revealing something universal about the human experience.
Now based in Brooklyn, Maria swapped her solitary European experiences for the vibrant life of New York city. There Maria found that even in a city full of people one can experience isolation and the yearning for connection is still vivid and present even in a crowd. Thereafter, Maria became interested in the study of intimacy as a whole encapsulated in her 2016 painting “Alone Together,” which inspired the storyline of the ABC series The Catch. Maria Kreyn became a household name and to date has participated in both group and solo shows internationally as well as museums across the United States and China.
Museum Group Shows:
(2016) "Et Arcadia in Ego”, NuMuseum Los Gatos , (2013) Hubei Provincial Museum, ACOPAL, Wuhan, China Zhejiang Provincial Museum, ACOPAL, Hangzhou, China Shanghai Art Museum, ACOPAL, Shanghai, China (2012) Beijing World Art Museum, ACOPAL, Beijing, China, Dalian Modern Museum, ACOPAL, Dalian, China, (2011) Butler Institute of American Art Museum: ACOPAL