Painter Ilana Manolson charts a new course between figurative and abstract art

Ilana Manolson, Luxury of awe, 2018-2019, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 48in x 48in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

At its best, abstract painting can be emotive and engaging, but often it merely feels empty. By turn, representational art can be visceral and immediate though often lacks an emotional dimension.

But Canadian-American painter Ilana Manolson seems to have found a third way, creating a fusion between the two that's quite enthralling.

Her first London exhibition, 'Chance Encounters', features more than 20 acrylic paintings created between 2018 and 2019. And the show highlights how the artist moves between representation and abstraction to better capture the essence of nature.

In doing so, Manolson challenges traditional depictions of nature in art, bringing together precise observations of plants and organic matter and then, through bold and fluid brushstrokes, adding ethereal and abstract elements.

It's rare in this day and age to find an artist who's truly pushing boundaries, but here's one that really is, and her work is really worth seeing up close.

'Chance Encounters' takes place until 10 May at Cadogan Contemporary, 87 Old Brompton Rd, London SW7 3LD.

Ilana Manolson, Unfurling, 2018-2019, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 11 x 9.8 in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

Ilana Manolson, Unfurling, 2018-2019, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 11 x 9.8 in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

Ilana Manolson, Yarrow, 2017, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 25.8in x 19.2in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

Ilana Manolson, Yarrow, 2017, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 25.8in x 19.2in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

Ilana Manolson, Temporal Translations, 2018, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 25in x 41in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

Ilana Manolson, Temporal Translations, 2018, acrylic on yupo paper on board, 25in x 41in © the artist, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary