Valeri Larko is best know for her densely painted landscapes of the urban fringe, all of which she paints on location. She is attracted to the decaying and abandoned structures that populated the outskirts of America's urban centers and the stories these places can tell.
Valeri Larko's paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe. Solo exhibitions include Bronx Museum, NY, Lyons Wier Gallery, NYC, WallWorks NY, Bronx, Hampden Gallery, University of Amherst, MA, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA, The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, The Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ, The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, Safe-T-Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Bronx River Art Center, NY, The College of New Rochelle, NY and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit.
Notable group exhibits include The Bronx Museum, NY, Fleming Museum, Burlington, VT, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY, Addison Ripley Fine Art, Washington DC, Barbara Frigerio Gallery, Milan, Italy, Stockton College Art Gallery, Galloway, NJ, The Katonah Museum of Art, NY, The Jersey City Museum, The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, Aljira, a center for contemporary Art, Newark NJ, Bruton Street Gallery in London, England and the American Embassy in Minsk, Belarus. Valeri Larko is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery, NYC.
In the fall of 2000 Valeri Larko was awarded a major mural commission from New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey State Council on the arts for the Secaucus Transfer Station. She painted four murals for their north mezzanine. Completed in August of 2003, the Secaucus Transfer Station is the largest train station in the state of New Jersey. Additional honors include grants from The Joyce Dutka Art Foundation, the George Sugarman Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts Strategic Opportunity Grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship and an Artist in Residence Fellowship from the Newark Museum. Ms. Larko's work is in the collections of the Jersey City Museum, The Montclair Museum, The New Jersey State Museum, Johnson and Johnson, Rutgers University, Hudson County Community College and a number of other significant organizations.
Valeri Larko grew up in Lake Parsippany and lived in Northern NJ most of her life surrounded by endless miles of industrial parks, highways and shopping malls all of which have contributed to her fascination with the built environment. She was educated at the Du Cret School of the Arts, Plainfield, NJ and the Arts Students League, New York City, In 2004, Valeri moved from northern New Jersey to an artist loft building in New Rochelle, New York from which she is currently exploring the fringes of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
Valeri Larko is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery, NY, NY.
I am fascinated by the built world and in particular the jumble of rusting industrial sites, aging infrastructure and funky waterways that populated the outskirts of America's urban centers and the stories these places tell about contemporary life and culture.
All of my landscapes are painted on location. I spend hours roaming around an area until I find something that resonates with me. Once I do, I set up my easel and return to a site many times. A large painting can take up to three months to complete. I work on one painting in the morning and another one in the afternoon due to the changing light. The process of painting on location over a long period of time is crucial to my working method because it allows me to form a deeper connection to a particular place through careful observation and personal interaction with the people I meet there.
Although my paintings are very detailed, I am less concerned with reproducing an exact documentation of a scene and more interested in capturing the spirit of a place.
I have been painting urban landscapes on location for the past 30 years and for the last 12 plus years, I have been painting in the outer boroughs of New York City, primarily in the Bronx but also in Brooklyn and Queens.
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