Ira Barkoff

b. 1934

“”My hope is to transcend the natural world by bringing to life something deeper and more elusive than outward appearances. A given group of trees or a field is imbued with something greater and more moving than the specifics I see before me. What it is I cannot put into words, but I know, it is the only thing worth putting into my paintings.””

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to his life’s subject the landscape. Reveling in nature’s glory, the artist dictates from memory and utmost confidence, this familiar terrain, immortalizing the influence of light on his subject and thereby its dynamic essence.

His canvases are suffused with color, his choices are rich effervescent hues; gleaming reminders of places and moments that captivate and enchant the viewer to participate in their own revelry and experience. With renewed assurance in his approach to his work Ira has abandoned the traditional landscape for the abstract; altering his approach and technique and allowing for the spontaneous to influence its direction.

Barkoff is influenced by Monet’s Water Lily series and his concerns are for the elements of light and space. His style is reminiscent of Wolf Kahn, however, his sense of space and place is very different. His work is about hte abstract landscape– the elements of earth, water, and sky, and he uses this direction to communicate what he cannot put into words. The experiences that direct his compositions are very personal and from memory. Barkoff holds a B.F.A. from Pratt and teaches at Washington Art Association. He studied with Robert Brackman and Robert Hale.

cv statement

Path, Red Trees


Warm Light

Afternoon Haze

Ira Barkoff, "Sunlight," oil on canvas