Elsie Kagan is a New York City-based painter. Her interest in art sparked at the age of nine, when her family left their Berkeley, California home for a year in Holland. There, Kagan remembers awakening to the particular magic and luminosity of painting. Examining a small Dutch oil sketch at a museum, she recalls feeling it had been made precisely for her.
Kagan was hooked. As a teenager, she started her own business making murals and leading public art projects in the San Francisco Bay area. While she continued to take inspiration from art history, over time her work became more grounded in the material qualities of paint and abstraction.
Kagan recently mounted solo exhibitions at Rivington Design House Gallery, New York, NY, and the Mandell Center in Hartford, CT, as well as a two-person show at the Soapbox Gallery, New York, NY. Selected group exhibitions include RushArts, Ground Floor Gallery, 440 Gallery, and Arts@Renaissance, all in New York City; Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Brenda Taylor Gallery, Greenwich, CT; and Zilkah Gallery at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT. Kagan’s work has been featured in publications such as the Washington Post, Flavorpill, Art F City, the Brooklyn Record, Studio Visit Magazine, and Looking at Painting. The recipient of several awards and grants, Kagan most recently received a fellowship from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. Kagan holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art and a BA from Wesleyan University, and is the founder of the Parent Artist Network of Brooklyn.