Maryna Bilak: CARE

Maryna Bilak: CARE
October 23, 2022–February 19, 2023

CARE is an ongoing body of work inspired by the experience of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s—a progressive brain disease that disrupts thought, memory and language. The project centers around the artist Maryna Bilak’s family and her late mother-in-law, Dorothy, who was diagnosed in 2014 and passed away in 2019. The intimate works on view explore the different roles that the act of caregiving requires from each person involved, from professional in-home nursing support to the direct care provided by Bilak and her husband, Maurice.


Bilak examines caregivers’ and patient’s changed states of being and of mind in paintings, frescoes, sculptures, drawings and assemblages. The works reflect on how tension develops as definitions of the self overlap and can become at odds with one another, the experience of physical and psychological fragmentation, and the material remnants the disease leaves behind.


The CARE project emerged in response to a series of major life events beginning in 2014 after Bilak met her future husband. These included Dorothy’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease; Maryna and Maurice’s marriage; their relocation to rural Hudson, New York, from New York City; the artist’s nervous breakdown, and the birth of the couple’s daughter, Irina. Bilak considered her studio a refuge separate from the difficulties and tumult of everyday life until she recognized: “I was making art without realizing it is about CARE. But I do remember one day standing in my working space looking around and realizing that my life of caregiving was in my studio on the walls looking at me.”


About the artist

Born in Rakhiv, Ukraine, in 1984, Maryna Bilak is an artist based in Hudson, New York. She received MFA degrees from Transcarpathian National University, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, in fine and applied art, and from the New York Studio School, New York, New York, in painting. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut, Museum of Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute of Ferenc Rákóczi II, Berehovo, Ukraine, Historical Museum “Palanok,” Mukachevo, Ukraine, Museum and Exhibition Center, Serpukhov, Russia, and Collection of Institute of Balassi Balint, Budapest, Hungary. She has had one-person exhibitions at Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House, Hudson, New York; John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York, and Long Island City Arts Open Festival, New York, New York. Bilak lives and works in Hudson with her husband and their daughter.

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This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.