York Sq. displays more than movies



While waiting for a movie to start at the York Square Cinema, instead of buying popcorn and candy, patrons can view art in the York Square Cinema Gallery in the lobby of the theater.

The latest exhibit features the work of Marina Korenfeld, an artist who utilizes themes from mythology to create mystical and symbolic work. The exhibit will be on display through May and consists of 28 color and black-and-white etchings, all of which are for sale.

Johnes Ruta, the independent art director of the Gallery, said he first became familiar with Korenfeld’s work in October of last year when her work was featured in a group show of the New York Etchers Society at the Golden Street Gallery in New London.

“I thought her work was by far the most well-crafted and fascinating in its symbolic content,” he said. “I like the strong, old-world, medieval sensitivity in her work.”

He said she approached him at the show as he was looking at Korenfeld’s work with a magnifying glass and they started talking. They eventually began an e-mail contact, and decided to do the exhibit.

An important figure recurrent through Korenfeld’s art is the figure of the Sirin — a half-woman, half-bird creature from Russian mythology. She said her astrological sign, Pisces, also influenced her work, and the fish image is another recurring theme.

“I deeply believe that life could be beautiful and rewarding if you keep working on yourself and moving the boundaries of your knowledge. These are the ideas that my paintings are about: my mystical blue bird, imaginary fishes and flying women,” she said. “Though I consider myself primarily a Symbolist, my art draws on a wide variety of mythologies, world-views, religions and literary traditions, both ancient and modern, ranging from Buddhism to Russian folklore.”

Korenfeld was born in Odessa, Ukraine, to artist parents; her father was an accordion teacher and her mother was a drama coach. She eventually enrolled in Odessa’s Theater and Art College, where she majored in puppetry. After immigrating to the United States in 1992, she received her B.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Korenfeld’s sister, Natalya Sukhonos ’04, said her sister’s work is influenced by artistic masters such as Picasso and the literary works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Herman Hesse.

“Marina’s artistic universe is equivalent to entering an ancient temple of mystical religion — you feel like you’re in the middle of a strange but alluring world that speaks to you with its signs, inviting you to penetrate it,” she wrote. “It is the worlds of dreams; it is haunted by mystery; it is the worlds of adventures into the unknown.”

The pieces range in price from $45 to almost $400, and Ruta said 11 pieces were already sold at the artist’s reception on April 13.

The York Square Cinema Gallery is a forum for the exhibition of work of emerging and established artists. The main focus of the exhibitions is on progressive and avant-garde visual ideas, though not limited to modernist art. Many types of visual art have been featured at the gallery, such as oil and acrylic paintings; etching and monotype prints; watercolors; and many varieties of photography and sculptures. The gallery has been displaying work for the past 12 years, and it is independently curated by Ruta, who chooses the artists featured. The theater takes a 20 percent commission from the sale of the works as a fee for the space.

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