by Christopher Bruni
Elena Dobrovolskaya’s gentle figurative paintings, currently exhibited at Artifact, have a sense of elegance and grace. Paint applied harmoniously coalesces to form remarkably organic and emotionally charged surfaces. In her portraits the artist activates the pictorial plane with only the barest flicker of an internalized intensity. A quiet burn of recognition ignites the imagery by the artist’s incremental layering of her brushstrokes.
Once applied in a state of nuanced control, gentle contours take shape within Dobrovolskaya’s sensitive narratives. Facial expressions and overall compositions imply an opening into the internal world of memories and dreams. Through her remarkable images Dobrovolskaya encourages us to address the fugitive immateriality of the world. Her oils and pastels are meditative because there is concentration and focus on the way she conflates different readings of apprehension as a lived or imaginary experience of her characters.
The immersion of the artist into the exigencies of creativity persuades us in the validity of her visual notations. In these works there arises a spontaneous drive for the unlimited, unfettered examination to find its own levels of passion and reason, as enigmatic and allusive as they may be. The result is mesmerizing, inspiring and original work reaching out to the viewer and re-instating in some subtle way links that hold us together.