Talya Baharal | Shape of Language

First Street Gallery

Feb. 7, 2024 - Feb. 25, 2023

526 West 26th Street, Suite 209
New York, 10001


First Street Gallery is pleased to present Shape of A Language, a solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Talya Baharal.

Talya Baharal’s paintings explore the journey and shaping of her abstract painter’s voice.

Unintended compositions are seen, absorbed and re-imagined in the language of abstraction. Whether looking at asphalt road repairs or broken ice sheets hovering over a receding river, noticing a humble mended seam on a garment or a mangled wire on a trash heap – all seem to become part of Baharal’s imaginary scape; part of her vocabulary of abstraction.

“Excavating and disturbing surfaces, whether metaphorically or physically, have been an ongoing theme in all my work. Revealing visual remnants of the struggles and the discoveries are at the essence of my painting path. I paint for those moments of clarity. I paint for the times that I find the courage to destroy and rebuild. I paint to feel alive.” *

In Baharal’s previous work as a sculptor and maker of wearable objects, she mainly drew upon the visual language of vulnerability and decay. Much of her attention to shapes of vessels, structures of contained chaos and the mapping of imaginary scapes is carried over in her paintings. Acrylic paint, ink and other mixed media are her materials of choice. Torn paintings and images of previous sculptures used as collage material activate many of her compositions. A dialog between the paint, ink markings and the collage create a rich language of layered lines that intersect expanses of paint. The changing character of lines that appear, disappear and re-appear reveal the armature that connects the composition. Baharal’s work is deeply rooted in excavating the personal journey of a painter’s voice unearthing its vocabulary.

Talya Baharal lives and paints in her studio in the Hudson Valley, NY. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel. Raised there and in London she moved to NYC in 1979. Widely recognized, exhibited and published as a studio art jeweler and sculptor for over three decades, she is the recipient of a NYFA fellowship, other grants and awards. Baharal was a juror on NYFA sculpture/craft panel and the curator of a book on contemporary art jewelry. While living in Maine for a few years, she began focusing exclusively on painting and studied with Steve Aimone. Upon her return to New York she studied with Fran O’Neill and John Lees at the NY Studio School. A solo exhibition of her paintings “Raw Ink – Blue Paint” was exhibited at Five Points Art Center Gallery in
Torrington, CT in 2021. Shape of A Language, her upcoming exhibition in February 2023 at First Street Gallery is her first solo painting exhibition in NYC. Her paintings were part of several group shows in Chelsea, Connecticut and the Hudson Valley. Baharal is represented in CA by Lulo Gallery in Healdsburg, Sonoma, where a solo exhibition is scheduled for November 2023.

* Talya Baharal – statement.

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