About the artist

Ivan Koota


   Artists statement


I am a self-taught painter and retired Pediatrician now living in Delhi, NY for almost 19 years.  I started to paint in 1991 shortly before I retired. From the onset the subject of my work was (and still is) Brooklyn, my birthplace and home for the first 25 years of my life. My subjects include the exciting places and rich experiences that affected me during the time I lived there. I frequently refresh my memories with   trips to Brooklyn a few times a year as well as reviewing images found in books, postcards, etc. especially when I look back to paint subjects before my time. Most of my paintings feature neighborhood activities; the daily events of Brooklyn life such as shopping, seeing children at play in the streets, parks, and summer beaches,  sports, family entertainment, etc. All that was happening in and around it’s vibrant and nurturing family neighborhoods. That’s really what made Brooklyn so special both before or during the 25 years I lived there. And happily it’s still what Brooklyn is all about.


In April, 1996, I had my first solo exhibit at the Frank Miele gallery in NYC. Since then I have been in several solo and group shows. In 1998 my painting of Ebbets Field titled “Before the Game” was exhibited at the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown, NY. In 1999, the painting “Grand Army Plaza” was selected to be part of an inclusive survey of New York State Folk Art, both past and present also held at the Fenimore Art Museum. In 2003, I was honored with a retrospective show at the Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and the painting “Grand Army Plaza” is now on permanent exhibition at the library, In addition, my painting “Watchtower” is now part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Historical Society. My works are also included in several private collections. Over the past 19 years I have completed about 90 plus paintings ranging from my usual 24 x 30” size up to 44 x 62”. I also enjoy the process of reproduction by making my own prints sold through my E-Bay store.   



Born- Brooklyn, NY 1939

Columbia College, NYC-- 1960 A.B.

SUNY-Downstate Medical School-- 1964 M.D.

Pediatric Practice in Long Island and Queens

Website: www.brooklynplaces.com

E-mail: brooklyn@brooklynplaces.com


SOLO ExHibitions


Woodstock Artists Association Museum, Woodstock, NY—May 8—June 6, 2010


Bright Hill Press, Treadwell, NY….2009


Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts Oneonta, NY---2008


Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY-- 2004-2005


Brooklyn Public Library Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY -   2003


Catskill ERPF Cultural center- Arkville, NY-   2001-  Curated by Inverna Lockpez


 “Brooklyn Memories”- Frank Miele Gallery, NYC – 1996





Albany Institute of Art Regional Exhibition– Albany, NY     July9-September 4, 2011


Roberson Regional Art Exhibition Roberson Museum, Binghamton, NY—July 8-October 16,2011


Albany Center Gallery Regional Competition-Albany, NY     June 3—July 16, 2011


Woodstock Artists Association Museum, Woodstock, NY—“Far & Wide”—April 9-May 8  2011


Van Brunt Projects              Beacon, NY         January 8– Feb. 6  2011


Woodstock School of Art— Juried Show— Mid July—August 13 —-2010


Woodstock Artists Association Museum, Woodstock, NY—“Far & Wide”—April 3-May2  2010


Cooperstown Art Assoc.—Nat’l Juried Show-  July 16th– August 20th  2010


Columbia College, NY, NY —3 alumni artists-  May 17– June17, 2010 


62nd Exhibition of Central New York Artists-  Munson Williams Procter Arts Institute, Utica, NY— February 6—May2, 2010


Roberson Regional Art Exhibition Roberson Museum, Binghamton, NY—2009


Juried Show of New York Artists —Merit Prize—-Cooperstown Art Association-  2008


Roberson Regional Art CompetitionRoberson Museum, Binghamton, NY---2007- Juried by Philip Pearlstein


National Juried Show- -- Cooperstown Art Association—2006


“The Many Faces of Folk Art”- Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY- 5/5/06-6/2/06


Juried show --UCCCA (Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts), Oneonta, NY --2005


NY State Folk Art- Past and Present- Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY- 1999


“Folk Art Masterpieces”-- Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY - 1998


Winner-Art News Prize- National Juried Show--Cooperstown Art Association –1994


National Juried Show---Cooperstown Art Association----1993


              Also RepresenteD IN SEVERAL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTions  including the Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Public Library








































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Text Box: PAST IS PRESENT IN HIS ART A stroke of nostalgia for retired doc
BY CLEM RICHARDSON                             NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, January 31th 2003, 8:04AM

Ivan Koota credits his first career with much of the success he's enjoying in his second.

"You don't work hard all your life and retire and do nothing," Koota said. "I got used to hard work and long hours while I was practicing medicine. Now I just put that energy into my painting."
You can see the fruits of the retired pediatrician's efforts now through March 3 in the Grand Lobby of the Brooklyn Public Library's Central branch at Grand Army Plaza.
"Brooklyn Primitive: The Art of Ivan Koota" features 32 paintings in which the self-taught artist re-creates the borough of the 1940s and 1950s, from Ebbetts Field to the Brooklyn Bridge, the Botanic Garden to the Coney Island Boardwalk's Parachute Jump amusement park ride.
"I'm a Brooklyn boy," Koota said. "I still feel the pain of when the Dodgers left for Los Angeles."

Koota's work on display is incredible for the detail - in "Right Field Wall," for instance, a rendering of Ebbets Field, the numbers on the player's backs are authentic.
That's no accident. Koota said he researches each piece meticulously, checking old newspapers, books and Internet sites for pictures he can use as subjects.
"I'll even drive around and take snapshots of places to use," Koota said. "But there are few places today that look like they did then. The truth is, I can't sketch for beans. If not for the camera and old photographs, I would be lost."

Gowanus Canal's heyday
Anyone looking to visit the Brooklyn of old would be right at home in a Koota painting. Here is the Gowanus Canal when it was still a heavily worked artery filled with barges and light boats.
As you would expect, each piece oozes nostalgia - there are the dancing "Old Gold" cigarette girls as well as billboards for Gem razor blades, Schaefer Beer, the Piel Brothers and Horton's Ice Cream.
Even the Daily News makes a few billboards, as does the defunct Dubrows Stores.
"I tried to get things from that period," Koota said. "Those signs painted on the windows [in another piece] are the actual signs I took from a picture."

Jay Kaplan, director of the library's Willendorf Division, which booked Koota, said the exhibition has proven very popular with the public.
"People love this show," Kaplan said. "It's colorful and evocative of a Brooklyn of bygone years. People almost seem to remember these places in the same colors Koota uses."
Koota's work is considered primitive because he is self-taught, having taken up the art on his wife Sharon's advice shortly before he retired his pediatric practice in 1994.
"He doesn't use any of the glazing or elaborate techniques that artists trained in schools use," Kaplan said.