The Russian-born, Brooklyn-based Darina Karpov is another artist who exhibits at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg. It’s a good fit, as her paintings and drawings on paper are just the kind of dense, process-driven psychedelia that Pierogi is known for. (Her show ends today.)

Karpov blends the figurative and the abstract into fantasy-like dreamscapes. Her muted tones are delicate and rhythmic; she often employs just two or three colors to each work, giving them a sense of design that recalls antique book illustrations. Shapes are billowy like clouds, or ailerial like the wings of birds. Elements of Audubon, Japanese woodblock prints, psychedelic oil lamp light shows, and John Bauer mix freely.

When Karpov brings figurative elements into the mix, however, as on the ethereal “Magic Days,” she is especially effective.

In the foreground, a pensive young girl clings to a rotted tree trunk, the head of a stone idol at her feet, several drab apartment complexes off in the distance. A solitary figure in the background wears a military uniform and has his hands in the air. The entire picture feels post-apocalyptic and surreal. The ground is littered with destroyed materials. And yet, despite the chaos, there is a warm, almost disquieting sense of the spiritual that runs through the detritus.

Hope is not lost. Things may change shape; what once was is no longer. But the past survives in each of usechoes of lives not lived in vain. (Brian Chidester)

Magic Days

Magic Days

Reds and Tealweb

Reds and Tealweb