Nepenthe Gallery Presents New Works by Barbara Januszkiewicz

By Editorial Team on November 14, 2022
Courtesy of Barbara Januszkiewicz.
Event: Thursday, November 17 from 6pm to 7:30pm


A Special DC Art Event: Nepenthe Gallery offers a Showcase of Assorted Works by the renowned and multi-dimensional Barbara Januszkiewicz!  Barbara has impacted the DC Metro area art scene for decades and Nepenthe is proud to represent some of her works. ART + WINE + CHEESE  Nov 17, Thursday at Nepenthe Gallery from 6-7:30 p.m.

“Early in my career I was doing narrative work in both oils and watercolors. I was painting everything from landscapes to still lifes, and more. All these works helped me develop the style and  direction that I am known for today which is my lyrical colorfield abstraction work.

Here at Nepenthe Gallery you can get a glimpse of the artist’s range of expression – from Barbara’s earlier oil paintings to her more recent colorful transparent acrylic abstracts.

“When ask about myself and art work I say it is all about color.
I am a Washington base artist.

Evolution of style:
For over 30 years I painted in a narrative pop art style which was highly recognized. In 1999 in honor of the city of Alexandria Virginia 250th Birthday used my art work to represent the city in it’s Legacies Program. It was this signature style that helped me win awards and many commissions. Yet I wanted to explore color, for color sake, dropping the narrative handling. Therefore I reinvented the way I painted. It was difficult to change direction, but necessary. I understand now that my expression comes out of my early works in watercolor, a progression evident in the almost liquid flow of colors which I now use in my large acrylic compositions.

Current direction:
Presently my work is a concentration on color, completely stepping away from all narrative content. My visual interpretation employs very large acrylic color fields that meld and overlap in translucent layers, evoking the rhythm and flow, with using a brush. Perhaps it was a need to bring music back into my life that I found this connection, what I call my musical inspiration. I am striving  to visually capture the sensation of sound.  Seeing my brushwork in waves of curving color-shapes submerged in translucent  immensely rich washes, with a light source not from applied paint, but from the luminosity, of the brilliant white paper or canvas, is what I  am reaching for. The overall effect is one of slow, powerful visual rhythms. Semi-translucent colors floats across my surfaces, soaking into the unprimed canvas  and paper to create tactile fusions of paint.

Artistic inspiration:
Years ago when I was teaching a continue education class at the Corcoran, when one of my students ask me where I got my creative inspiration from in my watercolors. My short answer was Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Lewis. Yet I knew one day, I would go into acrylics and push myself to create vibrant translucent colors washes on canvas like I had done on paper. From the late 70s  DC  has been my home and  I have always been interested in  the influenced of the Washington Color School and this city’s history with jazz . While now my work is reminiscent of Morris Louis,  it is this utilization of  brushes to control rather than create pours like Louis.


“In my early twenties, I met R. Buckminster Fuller who was a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary. He was all about giving back and making the world work for 100% of humanity.  One of our discussions was about creative thinking and solutions to complex global problems through design thinking . I believes that the arts enriches humanity and it is necessary not just to do excellent art, but  to give back, to educate, to nourish, and to sustaining  an environment that would encourage creative vision in all of us.” – Januszkiewicz

Januszkiewicz was trained under the Chinese master Mun Quan at Jacksonville University in the late 1970’s. She has worked closely with Paul Reed the last of the Washington Color School original artists.

Her artwork has appeared predominantly in the Washington, DC area, including the Phillips Collection, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum,  Art Club of Washington, Gallery K, MPA and The Art League. Her works can also be found in feature magazines, films, cable and international television formats. She was a watercolor instructor, adjunct professor for the Corcoran College of Art in Washington DC. Currently teaches at Mclean Project of for the Arts. Januszkiewicz studio is in Falls Church Virginia. She is in production with producing a passion project, the first documentary movie about The Washington Color School Movement.

We are delighted to bring NEPENTHE GALLERY to our beloved and dynamic community. Our art gallery features works from a wide range of artists – local artists whom we know and love, artists from other parts of the USA and around the world, and artists, both living and deceased, whose works are critically acclaimed. We are honored to hang works from our family’s private collection of 19th century and early 20th century American art and offer gallery talks for those masterpieces.


  • Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm
  • And By Appointment

Nepenthe Gallery is located at 7918 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria VA.