Skip to content


Première Couche

First Saturday Gallery Openings during Art for Arts' Sake | Downtown - 6 October 2018

3 - 26 October 2018

MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF Première Couche
MARNA SHOPOFF, Layers and Planes, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, The Place Between, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Flight, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Arrow, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Shattered, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Gravity, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Light on Light, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Sable and Shift, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Mark and Transparency, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Roses, 2018
MARNA SHOPOFF, Envelope, 2018

Press Release


JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is pleased to announce the latest  exhibition of Indianapolis-based painter Marna Shopoff, entitled Première Couche. The new suite of paintings represents a momentary departure from her colorful and energetic canvases; employing a more subdued palette composed of primarily black and white, with more subtle compositions focusing on geometric forms. The exhibition will be on view from 3 to 26 October 2018 with an opening reception coinciding with the Arts District of New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Openings on Saturday 6 October, 5 - 9pm, in conjunction with ART FOR ARTS’ SAKE | Downtown.


The artist elaborates on the shift in the new paintings . . .


What happens when we set aside the need to represent what we see and instead respond with how we feel?  To me, life is fragmented and layered, a mosaic of experiences interwoven with reflection and intuition: the places we visit, the homes we live in, the countries we explore – each overlapping and influencing one another.  Première Couche (first layer) is a visual expression of how experience and memory affect my connection to self, and how the response to change shifts my identity.


Using gray-scale, geometric abstract paintings, I explore the concept of spatial identity, translating how place and experience uniquely intertwine.  I examine how human experience, place and personal memory affect my perception of self.  Having previously used vibrant color as a hallmark of exploration, these newest, monochromatic works, are inspired by my recent transition into motherhood, a challenge that made me question the loss of my previous identity while influencing the more subdued palette.  Blending contemporary and classical approaches to painting and composition, I use the oil-painting technique of Grisaille to express the idea of a sketch, the mood of a beginning and an entrance into someplace new – the first layer, and abstraction as a way to move through and define the two-dimensional surface. Perspective and transparency, together with techniques of glazing and layering, create an illusion of depth and space, while visually conveying the fusion of memories and experiences.

MARNA SHOPOFF is an Indianapolis-based visual artist with an emphasis on abstract painting and intuitive drawing.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree from the Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN, where she has taught as an adjunct professor in the Foundations and Drawing Programs.  Interested in the concepts of design and spatial relationships, her work explores the idea of perception, place identity and visual memory. 


Shopoff has led panel discussions on abstract learning and haptic drawing at the Foundations in Art Theory and Education Conference (US) and the International Drawing and Cognition Symposium (UK).  She is the recipient of various honors and awards, including The Individual Artist Award | Indiana Arts Commission, the Mildred Darby Menz Award, and the Stutz Resident Artist Award.  She has taken part in artist residencies at locations across the US and abroad including the Vermont Studio Center (VT); Teton Artlab (WY); Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (WI); The International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture (Italy); and Leveld Art Centre (Norway).


Her work has been published in print circulations including Create Magazine!, Studio Visit Magazine, Manifest and Blue Canvas.  Her exhibition portfolio spans both national and international exhibitions (solo, group and collaborative), and she has been featured in art fairs including PULSE New York, PULSE Miami, Miami Project, VOLTA12 Basel (Switzerland), Art Market San Francisco, Seattle Art Fair and Texas Contemporary (Houston).


For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact the gallery director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.343.6827 or Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags:  #MarnaShopoff, #JonathanFerraraGallery and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.