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Fortitude by Emilie Lee, Oil on Linen, 36x36
April 15 - 25, 2015
Opening Reception
Thursday, April 16, 6:00-8:00pm
Meet the Artists @ Opening Reception
Artist Talk and Intro @ 7:30pm
Featured Artists

David DeSimone, Kristy Gordon, David Kassan, Nikolina Kovalenko, Shana Levenson, Emilie Lee, Stefano Losi, Daniel Maidman, David Rockwell, Buket Savci, Victoria Selbach and Patricia Watwood.

Dacia Gallery proudly presents Primavera our Annual Group Exhibition on Figurative Art. This exhibition embodies an eclectic mix of contemporary artists that focus on representational art. The collection of work contains a mosaic of figures and portraits through a life long study of anatomy, depth, color and light through the unique vision of each artist. From renowned representational painters, Victoria Selbach and David Kassan to classically influenced Patricia Watwood and rising stars Nikolina Kovalenko and Daniel Maidman. Fusing together an achievement of what is currently being created in representational art at the peak of a new movement by young inspiring artists. Come celebrate with us and meet some of today’s most intriguing figurative artists.


David DeSimone Is a graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been living and working as an artist in the New York City area for several years. He has had two solo shows, and had participated in several group shows. Over the years, Mr. DeSimone has covered broad range of styles from abstract to representational, exploring various ways to connect visually with viewers on his perceptions of the world. His works convey an ongoing tension between observation and emotion – or how the objective relates to the subjective, and vice-versa.

Kristy Gordon’s work is a frank and intimate reflection of her curiosity about other people, transformations and self-discovery.  She has been a full-time, professional painter since 2004, exhibiting her work internationally and earning numerous awards including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, an Award of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America, and is a finalist for the 2013 Kingston Prize for Canadian portraiture.  She has been widely featured in numerous magazines, art publications, radio and television shows, including Fine Art Connoisseur’s Three to Watch, The Artist’s Magazine’s 28th Annual Art Competition, Southwest Art’s Emerging Artist: 21 Under 31 and Bravo!’s Star Portraits.  Her paintings hang in numerous collections worldwide including the Government of Ontario Art Collection.

David Kassan is a contemporary American painter best known for his life-size realist portraits. The paintings combine figurative subjects with abstract backgrounds or “tromp l’oeil texture studies,” reportedly inspired by Franz Kline and Robert Rauschenberg. Of this dual representation strategy Kassan notes, “my effort to constantly learn to document reality with a naturalistic, representational painting technique allows for pieces to be inherent contradictions; paintings that are both real and abstract.” David Kassan received his his B.F.A. in 1999 from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. He continued his studies at The National Academy, and the Art Students League of New York, both in Manhattan. Kassan currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches painting classes and workshops at various institutions around the world.

Nikolina Kovalenko received her Masters in Fine Arts from Moscow Surikov Art Institute and Gold Medal from the Russian Art Academy. She also was an exchange student at UDK, Berlin. In the winter of 2008 she backpacked for the first time to India. “That trip opened my eyes to the world and changed my life. Traveling became my passion and I tried to embody the impressions of every country in my art. In my sketches I wanted to return to Russia with more than just a dry imprint of facts and lines, rather I wanted to keep the hot breath of the wind in the Mexican desert, the gold of Italian cathedrals, the white candles of mosques looming in the Moroccan sky, the flavor of mint tea pouring from a silver teapot in a tent covered with marvelous carpets. In the summer of 2010, I lived in Cuba for two months, portraying the decadence of Havana’s streets and spending hours drawing dancers of Santiago de Cuba beneath the rhythm of sacred drums. I tried to express the importance of dance in Cuban culture as a surrogate of happiness despite everyday difficulties.” In 2012, Kovalenko moved to New York— the city, which inspires her and nourishes the imagination with a fascinating mixture of cultures.

Shana Levenson (1981, Houston Texas) is a nationally known contemporary figurative painter, best known for her non traditional portrayals of the quirkiness of parenthood. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at The University of Texas at Austin, and is currently pursuing of a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She has also taken numerous workshops around the countries with artists Costa Vavadiakis, David Kassan, and Warren Chang. Due to her unique vision and arrangement’s, Levenson is a much sought after commission portrait artist. Shana’s current series of work, Portraits of Parenthood, is focused on non-traditional portraits of the sometimes-secret duality of parenting in modern times. Her greatest passion is finding the elements that are most meaningful to an individual or family and incorporating these concepts in her work. Levenson works can be seen in many group shows around the country.

Emilie Lee is a classically trained painter working in the tradition of the Hudson River School. Drawing on her background as a rock climber and adventure athlete, she travels to remote locations to study landscapes that are critical in the field of conservation. Without the use of photographs as reference material, she creates drawings, notes, and plein air paintings while on location which she later uses to inform her large-scale canvases in the studio. As a result, her work is a distillation of time, memory, and a close observation of the natural world.  Lee handcrafts each piece of artwork using time-honored techniques tested by museum conservationists to ensure the archival quality of each piece. After earning her degree in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, Emilie worked as a freelance writer and illustrator for outdoor adventure publications including “Alpinist Magazine”, the Patagonia Catalog, and “Rock and Ice.” In 2008 she moved to New York to spend four years studying with renowned painter and educator, Jacob Collins. She became a senior fellow at the Hudson River Fellowship and spent five summers at this residency for landscape painters. Today, Lee is a principal artist and instructor at the Grand Central Atelier in New York City. Emilie Lee’s artwork is frequently exhibited in New York City and she often collaborates with creative partners in the conservation and outdoor adventure fields such as Best Made Company, Patagonia, and Stio Mountain, for whom she has been a sponsored ambassador. As a landscape painter she has been featured in “The New York Times”, “The Wall Street Journal”, and “New Hampshire Public Radio.”

Stefano Losi was born in Lake Como, near Milan, where he was raised and classically educated in fine arts.  After having received his graduate degree at the Luigi Bocconi Universityof Milan in 1993,he worked in different senior management roles at the EBRD in London and other International Institutions, and currently works at the United Nations in New York, where he is also President of the UNSRC Literary Cultural Circle. In 2005 he was nominated Knight of the Italian Republic by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. After a long series of events organized since the early 1990s in Europe, including several shows and poetry readings in formal and alternative spaces, ranging from galleries, to workers unions and social centers, in December 2008 he presented "The imperfect dialectics of experience", a solo exhibition of paintings and poems at the United Nations in New York. Stefano Losi’s work has been featured in different publications, among which a book on Italian contemporary artists curated by Renato Miracco, and published under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  In March 2011 he presented "Under The Burnt Walls", his second art and poetry solo exhibition at the United Nations in New York.

Daniel Maidman's work has been shown in juried exhibitions nationally, as well as having been selected by the Saatchi Gallery to be displayed at Gallery Mess in London. His art and writing on art have been featured in ARTnews, Poets/Artists, American Art Collector, Hyperallergic, International Artist, Manifest, The Artist’s Magazine, and the publishing arm of SUNY-Potsdam. He blogs for The Huffington Post and Artist Daily. His writing on Da Vinci is currently taught at DePaul University and Roosevelt University. His paintings range from the figure and portraiture, to still lives and landscapes, to investigations of machinery, architecture, and microflaura. His images occupy a spectrum from high rendering to almost total abstraction. His work is included in numerous private collections, among them those of New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz, Chicago collector Howard Tullman, Disney senior vice president Jackson George, best-selling novelist China Miéville, and author Kathleen Rooney.

David Rockwell Originally from California, David lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles before moving to New York in 1999. He studied art and design at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. It is there that he began studying landscape and figure painting, working regularly in both watercolor and oil pastel. Since coming to New York, David has been developing a body of work inspired by the organic geometries found in the natural and scientific world. While painting abstract works based on particle tracks (bubble chamber diagrams used by physicists to study the collisions of subatomic particles) the simple beauty of the curves and spirals led him back to the figure, seeking parallels in the human form and the activation of space implied in every pose. His influences come from science, literature, art and design and the relationships that can be found between them.

Buket Savci Atature was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She has a background as a landscape architect and then she started studying fine arts in Istanbul. With moving to New York in 2006 she got her BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn in 2010 and she is getting her MFA from NY Academy of Art in 2012. Her work is a visual diary where she explores the longing for once present intimacy and desire. By using suggestive and ordinary details that triggers her memory she observes being herself in various moments and rooms. The room, with its walls and specific objects become the witness and gains a personality describing its occupants. Mystery and humor are the elements she enjoys including in her work while capturing moments of coupling. She is represented by Olcay Art Gallery in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been exhibited in various group shows and art fairs internationally and nationally such as Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair in Istanbul, Turkey, Flowers Gallery, Allegra LaViola Gallery, Sotheby’s in New York, Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, LA, Kamakura Art Center, Tokyo, Japan. Meanwhile she is getting ready for her first solo show which is going to be at Olcay Art in Istanbul upcoming Spring.

Victoria Selbach is a conceptual realist painter. Her passion for drawing was encouraged from an early age with Saturday classes at Carnegie Mellon Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Her early years of classes at CMU provided a range of course work including drawing from live models, studying anatomy at the Pitt Medical School Morgue and just enough information to supply the questions she will spend the rest of her life answering. Selbach moved to New York City, graduated from Parsons School of Design and continues to live and work in New York. Her paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions in galleries across the country and at the Heckscher Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art. She has been discussed in publications such as Artists Daily, LI Pulse and Poets and Artists. Victoria contributes to the next generation of artists as a guest lecturer and one on one mentor to New York High School students.

Patricia Watwood has exhibited at galleries and institutions worldwide such as Hirschl & Adler and The Forbes Galleries in NYC, Galerie Albert Benamou in Paris, and John Pence in San Francisco. Her work is currently on tour in China in the historic presentation of American Realism, Contemporary American Realism, which opened in September 2012 at the Beijing World Art Museum.  The tour travels to Dalien, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Shanghai throughout 2012 and 2013. Watwood’s solo museum exhibit, Patricia Watwood: Myths & Individuals opened in October 2011 at St. Louis University Museum of Art, and traveled to The Forbes Galleries, NYC, in the spring of 2012. Her paintings travel through worlds of mythology, allegory, and contemporary human life.  Her images are carefully designed to convey the beauty and emotion of the visual world.  Philosophically, the paintings reflect the artist’s search for meaning and desire for spiritual connection with both subjects and viewers. Her paintings have featured her in numerous art publications, and two covers of American Artist magazine.  Her portrait commissions include the astronomer Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin for Harvard University; the journalist and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B Wells for the Kennedy School of Government; and Mayor Clarence Harmon, for the St. Louis City Hall. Watwood earned her MFA with Honors from New York Academy of Art, and studied with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier, and Ted Seth Jacobs at the Ecole Albert Defois in France.  Watwood has been an adjunct professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art and has given lectures and workshops across the country.  She is a writer and blog contributor for American Artist and Artist Daily publications. She is also the Vice-President of ACOPAL, a non-profit artist alliance created to build international relations between realist artists in the US and China. Watwood lives with her husband and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York.


Artwork by Victoria Selbach Artwork by  Buket Savci Artwork by David Kassan Artwork by Shana Levenson Artwork by Nikolina Kovalenko Artwork by Daniel Maidman Artwork by Stefano Losi Artwork by David DeSimone Artwork by David Rockwell Artwork by Kristy Gordon Artwork by Emilie Lee