Natalia Pohrebinska is an artist whose work is rooted in expressionism. Her imagery is defined by a rhythmic energy of color, shape, and general stroke resulting in work of sumptuous vitality. The content of her work reveals itself through the suggestiveness of her forms and in their interaction. The confluence of her aesthetic clarity and the poetic evocation of her markings, at once personal and universal, defined the artist.
Pohrebinska came of age as an artist during the heroic years of Abstract Expressionism. As a student at Pratt Institute (1958-1962) from which she received her B.A. and M.F.A., she came in contact with some of the movement's major artists. George McNeill, a prominent faculty member, was a strong supporter of her work. Pohrebinska recalls especially fondly her close relationship with Philip Guston who was an important influence on her both as a mentor and friend. Richard Lindner, an artist outside the Abstract Expressionist orbit who taught at Pratt and who was an accomplished violinist, referred to her "virtuoso brushstroke." Within the larger Abstract Expressionist community, she benefited greatly from her acquaintanceship with Wilhelm de Kooning.
She was the first abstract expressionist artist allowed into the Soviet Union where she lectured and took part in open studio painting workshops. During her trip in 1963, she met Norman Rockwell who became an admirer of her work. She later moved to the Catskill region of New York State, where she resides to the present day.
For Pohrebinska, who was born in Kyiv, her heritage plays an important role in her art. The rich tradition of Ukraine's vivid colorful folk art has impacted many aspects of her work. Her earliest teacher was Ludmilla Morozova, a Ukrainian artist who introduced the young student to color's potential.
The uniqueness of Pohrebinska's art lies in the artist's ability to address varied realities in which she moves seamlessly between the conscious and subconscious. Her deeply charged symbols, articulated with consummate, expressive skill, define her special visions of the world.