Lynn Kotula- A Life in Painting 1984-2020

June 21–July 9, 2022

Opening reception: Thursday, June 23, 5-8 PM

Closing celebration: Saturday, July 9, 3-6 PM

A Lot of Squash and Eggplant, One Huge, o/c, 8″x16″, 2012

Bowery Gallery is pleased to present Lynn Kotula: A Life in Painting 1984–2020, an exhibition of paintings and drawings spanning the late artist’s career. This is Kotula’s fifth solo show at Bowery Gallery, her 12th in New York City.

Lynn Kotula (1945-2021) created a kind of magic that is simultaneously quiet and robust. Completely lacking in pretense, her still lifes and landscapes are built on acute sensitivity, keen analysis, and deep love for the experience of seeing. Kotula’s work explores the tension between the perceived world and the abstraction inherent in the two-dimensional surface of a painting. “I think that opposition is what nourishes me,” she wrote. “Abstraction/naturalism. I need both and I’m always looking for ways to have one nourish or enrich the other.”

Checkered Cloth with Coffee Pot, Winter Landscape, o/c 13″ x 22″, 2009

An 80-page catalog accompanying the show illuminates how Lynn approached her work. “What I look for are those moments when I leave my conscious and knowing self behind and disappear into the experience of looking, and finding equivalents for that experience through color and drawing. … I want my paintings to tell the non-verbal stories that only painting can tell.”

“So beautiful & so fully found & felt – Lynn’s gift to us, a generous perfection, a clear vision” – Ruth Miller Forge, on Instagram

A lemon painted by Lynn Kotula is proof that art exists.” —Thaddeus Raddel, reviewing “Rooms with a View: Seven Artists at Westbeth Gallery” 

Still life on table with mirror behind, o/c, 28″ x 36″, 2008
Glade – Stillwater, o/panel, 8″ x 13.5″, 2000

Lynn Kotula was born in Morristown, NJ in 1945, the daughter of magazine illustrator Jo Kotula. But she did not start painting until she was almost 30 years old, when she quit her job and began waiting tables at night so she could devote her daylight hours to art. She studied with Gabriel Laderman at the Art Students League, with Leland Bell and Gretna Campbell at The New York Studio School, and with Bell and Paul Resika at The Parsons School for Design, where she earned her MFA in 1980. Her first solo exhibition was at Prince Street Gallery in 1985. During her career she became known for her exquisite tabletop still lifes, a genre she pursued even when it had largely fallen out of favor.

Oatmeal bowl, clay pitcher and squashes #2, o/c, 16″ x 30″, 2004

Kotula’s work has been seen at NYC venues including Bowery Gallery (4 solo shows), Prince Street Gallery (7 solo shows), Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Lohin Geduld Gallery, the National Academy of Design, and the Painting Center, as well as numerous venues elsewhere including the Contemporary Realist Gallery in San Francisco; Watson-MacRae Gallery, Sanibel Island, Fla.; the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in Montecastelo, Italy; and museums throughout the US.

To view more information and works, please visit

Gallery hours are 11 AM to 6 PM Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please contact the gallery at 646-230-6655 or 

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