Illia Barger | Arabesques and Interstices: The Dance of Light and Shadow

May 6 - 28, 2017 | Reception: Saturday, May 6, 6 - 8 pm


Morpeth Contemporary is pleased to present artist Illia Barger in her third solo exhibition, where natural form described (portrayed) in floral imagery persists, though painted with an altogether different intention. Illia describes this body of work…, “Delicate tonal shifts move the viewer through the form. There is movement, as though some weather may have blown in. Light weaves in nuanced tones animating the petal’s forms into an optical dance. The form is viewed indirectly, transmuted by light and movement. The peony, as platform, provides the shapes, complex arabesques, and interstices that set the stage for the real narrative, the dance of light and shadow.”

Raised in a highly creative environment Illia grew up in Carversville, PA. Her parents Raymond Barger, a well known sculptor, and mother Lilias Barger, a pianist and painter, moved to Bucks County in 1964 drawn by its rich artistic community past and present. Recently, father, mother, and daughter were all featured at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. Illia’s series, “The Dead Impressionists” portraits she painted of five Pennsylvania Impressionist painters, hung along with Lilias’s self portrait, a modernist work, in the exhibition, “The Death of Impressionism? Disruption and Innovation in Art” which closed this past February. Her father’s sculpture “Transition” stands at the entrance of the museum.

Illia attended the Cooper Union School of Art in NYC and is the recipient of the prestigious Pollack-Krasner Foundation Award. A sought after muralist, her work graces interior and exterior spaces from Philadelphia to New York. In 2006 she was presented with a Dodge Foundation Grant to create the mural, “Winds of Change” in Trenton, and in 2012 painted the mural, “Continuum” in downtown Princeton as the Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence sponsored by the Princeton Arts Council. 

Image: Vivienne, oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches