Member Interview with Natalia Wróbel
New Museum Council member Natalia Wróbel is a Polish American artist living and working in Cambridge. Natalia grew up between La Jolla, California, and Warsaw, Poland, and studied Studio Art and Art History at Dartmouth College. Her paintings are featured in numerous private international collections and have been on view at art fairs including Art Basel: Miami; Art South Hampton; and Texas Contemporary. She received the New York Studio School Mercedes Matter Fellowship in 2012 and the Murray Art Prize in 2015. One of her paintings was selected for inclusion in the silent auction at the 2016 MFA Summer Party.
What brought you to Boston? What do you do for work? Any specific hobbies or interests?
I am an artist who creates colorful, textured oil paintings that reference ancient architecture, botanical structures, and neural networks to create imagined, meditative pseudo-landscapes and portals into liminal realms. My work examines coexistence of dualities and the endurance and adaptability of the human spirit. I am deeply inspired by mindfulness and the gravity underlying simple, everyday moments, and my paintings explore the liminal realm beyond our physical world, and the interconnectedness of people, nature, history and spirit. I show my work at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in the South End.
My husband Dan is a scientist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of electronics, material science, chemistry and biology. He is the director of business development at Soft Robotics. We moved to Boston three years ago for Dan’s post-doctoral research at Harvard. We both love exploring nature and enjoy hiking, paddle-boarding, and playing beach volleyball. Dan is an avid surfer and loves seeking waves in NH and RI. We both enjoy cooking and hosting family and friends at our home. Family-style dinners and taco nights are our favorite. We also love museum hopping and listening to live music, including jazz, soul, tropical house, and the occasional symphony when we're feeling fancy.
Why did you join the Museum Council?
Abigail Ryan brought us to events over the past few years and we really loved the MFA community and the insider access to the fabulous programming.
What aspects of the Museum Council surprised you?
The Museum Council is incredibly inclusive and diverse, and welcoming to us from the very beginning.
Which events have you particularly enjoyed?
I always love the curator talks at the Museum Council events. They are intimate and allow you to dive deep into the exhibitions and connect with the brilliant minds behind the shows.
Do you have a favorite MFA artwork or exhibition?
“Matisse in the Studio” is one of my favorite exhibitions to date in any museum. I love the creative arrangement of Matisse’s beloved studio objects and their masterpiece painting companions. The exhibition truly inspires you to dream as Matisse dreamed, and brings you into his world. Dan and I both love the Tara Donovan installation and Mark Bradford painting in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, and the El Anatsui tapestry. Those are three of our favorite artists, as they transform everyday materials into ethereal masterpieces. I also think these artworks appeal to the engineer in Dan and the artist in me.