March 4, 2005

Brooklyn Landscapes: Paintings by Catharine Balco and Albert Fayngold creates a colorful canvas of Brooklyn with its local sights, scenes and culture. Catharine Balco's plein air paintings search neighborhoods for precise moments of inspiration while Albert Fayngold's paintings capture the dreamy solitude of Brooklyn's silhouette. What emerges from the 60 paintings on display is a diverse landscape of Brooklyn—a canvas of the city that is moody and vibrant, chaotic and serene, melancholy and tender. Brooklyn Landscapes: Paintings by Catharine Balco and Albert Fayngold will be on view from March 22 through May 15, 2005 in the Grand Lobby at Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

Catharine Balco's painterly, impressionistic style reflects her desire to capture moments in time. Each painting is a brief glimpse or scene from a Brooklyn neighborhood as the artist's perspective changes from one painting to the next, from street level to rooftops to skylines.

"While I want my paintings to portray an entirely unique moment in place and time, I'm not painting to create an image of that place and time. I'm painting to have the experience of being present," says Catherine Balco.

Balco's lush oil paintings are painted on location from Sunset Park, Gowanus and DUMBO to Greenwood Cemetery, Park Slope and Windsor Terrace. Her work captures everyday Brooklyn scenes from a mass of cars and brightly lit bodegas, sidewalks and street signs to angular buildings and skeletal fire escapes.

"I use the experience of looking at the world as a trigger for the state of mind that I want my paintings to evoke," says Catherine Balco. "Brooklyn and I have felt like a perfect match. As a modern-day 'plein air' painter, I've had a chance to witness a very few of the millions of lives that are lived here."

Catharine Balco received her B.A. in Fine Art from Yale University and was staff artist at Vermont Studio Center for two years. Her paintings have been exhibited throughout New England, including The Atlantic Gallery, New York, Washington Art Association, Connecticut and Blue Shoe Strategy Gallery, New York. Catharine currently lives and works in Brooklyn and is represented by the Craven Gallery, Massachusetts.

Albert Fayngold combines chalk, color pastel, watercolor and gouache to render naturalistic scenes of Brooklyn that are informed by a nostalgic sensibility. Having settled in Brooklyn over ten years ago as a refugee from Ukraine, Fayngold began to paint his immediate environment, both as a way of settling accounts with his European past and of documenting his personal encounters with Brooklyn. The borough's sprawl and its open vistas, like that of an old European city, resonate with the artist. Fayngold's versions of Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Prospect Park and Coney Island are lyrical, infused with a romance and nostalgia for the past.

"In my portraits of places, it is usually the wrinkled, the rusted-over, the snow-covered and the befogged that I seek out so desperately—I see my past, and my viewer's past, and this city's past, invoked with equal intensity; because all of these diverse pasts, much like the images that contain them, will be soon meshed together, brushed in, rubbed out, glazed over, all to settle them into something like a new home," says Albert Fayngold.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, U.S.S.R, Albert Fayngold studied art at the National Schevchenko School of Fine Arts and Architecture and the National Academy of Arts before coming to Brooklyn in 1992. Fayngold's paintings have been exhibited internationally in Japan, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic and in New York City, including C.W. Post Hillwood Commons Gallery.

This project is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation.

To schedule an interview with BPL Executive Director Ginnie Cooper or artists Catherine Balco and Albert Fayngold, please contact: Ruth A. Wagner (email:, phone: 718.230.2211) or Philip Serghini (, phone: 718.230.2189).

Marketing & Communications
Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at