Abigail Drapkin is a painter from Midcoast Maine. She earned her MFA in Painting + Drawing from the University of Washington in 2019 and her BA in Studio Art and French from Brandeis University in 2012. Abigail is a lifelong learner and art teacher, and is proud to have taught students aged 5 to 85. She currently teaches undergrads at Lake Washington Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, where she enjoys guiding students through the creative process and sharpening their unique point of view through their art.
In 2023, Abigail’s first solo exhibition “The Window” opened at Magnuson Park Gallery in Seattle. In 2019, Abigail exhibited her MFA thesis work including prints and large monochromatic paintings at the Henry Art Gallery. Recent group exhibitions include shows at Studio Gallery, Avenue 12 Gallery, and SMASH Gallery in San Francisco. In 2018, Abigail was awarded a two-week residency in Singapore through LaSalle College of the Arts, where she created a series of etchings exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore.
I began working on “The Table” in the months before the Covid-19 pandemic. As life drew inward, the objects on the table evolved into staples we had left in our cupboards: onion, garlic, rice. The daily newspaper and the window were sources of information and connection.
In the months that followed, my work centered on still life and self-portraiture, often combining the two rather awkwardly in oil paintings large and small. The color palettes somber, the objects strewn about, the window cast a cool light on my subjects in contrast to the warm glow inside. The window also became a compositional tool, framing and flattening the landscapes beyond, and a place for experimentation. How could I combine the inside and outside in one painting? I drew ideas from Pierre Bonnard and Edvard Munch, both painters of solitary figures, but flipped the male gaze. I focused on the female subject from a female perspective, lending importance to her quiet moments and inward landscapes.
As family and friends came back into my life, they came back into my paintings too. I painted my sister, my mother, and my close friends with gratitude. My patient brush captured flyaway hairs and the landscapes out the window, just beyond their steady gaze.