Women In the Arts - A Dialogue between Nature & Environment
Featuring Work by Yumi Hogan and Mina Papatheodorou Valyrakis
Yumi Hogan, Spring Melody 4, Mixed Media on Hanji Paper (l); Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, Dreaming in the Sunset, acrylics (r)
Open April 20 through June 24, 2022
Chaney and Martino Galleries
Gallery Reception (Free and Open to the Public): Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm
Just as culture occupies a special place in life, so too women have always played an important role in this vast and beautiful area of human activity. Looking at the works of Yumi Hogan and Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, we can understand and delight in the different ways in which these two women have embodied and defined nature through art. Whether their inspiration is found in the European still life tradition or in Asian landscape painting, both artists display an appreciation for nature as it intersects with the imagination.
More and more, as contemporary becomes more global and artists look both east and west, the ideas that bind artists like Hogan and Valyraki together are found in a shared love of the natural world. It is that deep and abiding belief in nature –as expressed through the lens of their own rich heritage– which ultimately enables their art to speak to us all.
Yumi Hogan and Mina Papatheodorou Valyraki are featured in the Permanent Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts of Washington, which highlights the achievements of women artists of all time and nationalities.
The partnering of their art brings together a view into their personal environments and natural surroundings. This partnership is the second installation of this exhibition, with the first being featured in Athens, Greece in 2019.
Artist Statement: Yumi Hogan
My artwork is my interpretation and abstract vision of the harmony of nature. We human beings are part of nature like cool breezes, trees and flowing water. I feel this existence in the meaning of nature through the freedom of movement and unstructured imagery. All of our lives are connected in this way.
Some of my works depict the sudden change that has affected my life. I began to use more colors and lines. The flowing colors and lines represent a childhood memory of my mother and grandmother making silk fabrics, carefully moving each silk strand in the air. I am reminded of the soft colorful strands, swaying with the breeze.
This work is my interpretation and abstract vision of the harmony of nature. We human beings are part of nature like cool breezes, trees and flowing water. All of our lives are connected in this way. Rather than replicate a scene, each of my paintings has no beginning, no end, and no focal point but represents a continuous flow as if wondering through a dream. It is my intent to make people feel and understand the breath of nature through my works.
Artist Statement Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki
I consider my art purely gestural with some periods of «moderation» which render it slightly calmer. If we were to isolate little pieces from one of my works we would see that they too are autonomous, because they represent what I am: energetic and hyperactive, restless.
I believe that there are two components which may be said to characterize my work: a definite draft that ensures the structure of the composition, and the intensity of the colour, which gesturally follows the flow of the composition. Most often this process is incorporated. The drawing arises from the colour; by that I mean I believe that the ensuing intensity is due to this inner mood, and to the energy and mobility that characterize me. Besides, painting, and every other form of art, is a psychograph.
Personally I find the limitation –of the small frame– unbearable. In large works I don’t have restricted boundaries. I always want to go outside the frame anyway. Almost all my works are cut off.
The remainder of their «being», the imaginary, exists outside the frame. It is impossible in the case of gestural painting for only small and worthy works to come our, unless one is dealing with a polyptych, where one piece completes or is the continuation of the next. The artist does not become better or more able with the passing of time. He evolves however by searching and by the way in which he penetrates into his exploration. He is differentiated in his expressions and in his quests. Of course also his phases, his mood and the way in which he sees things play a part. My painting style and my way of expression were gestural from birth. The times of the greys and dark blues are some of the most basic, important and beloved times for me. I do not attribute the dark range to an unhappy period, so to speak, of my life –quite the opposite, I might say–. What has changed is my inclination towards large surfaces and more light, or perhaps differentiated light and strong phases of freedom.