Emmi Whitehorse: Mapping the Microcosm

Santa Fe, NM – Chiaroscuro is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Emmi Whitehorse, Mapping the Microcosm, on view July 5 – August 3, featuring Whitehorse’s most recent contemporary abstract paintings. Please join us for the opening reception, Friday, July 5, from 5pm to 7pm, with Emmi Whitehorse present. Working with oil, pastel, graphite and chalk on paper, mounted on canvas, for over 30 years, Whitehorse’s art transcends the materials and pulls the viewer into a vibrant “living” abstraction. “My paintings tell the story of knowing land over time,” she has said, “of being completely, micro cosmically within a place.”

The artwork starts by setting up an atmosphere of vivid color, which undulates back and forth on the picture plane, much like clouds moving across the sky or the hot desert wind blowing over the land. Simultaneously looking far to the horizon and close up at the minute details, the paintings are full of abstract drawing which adds up to an orchestration of marks that “float” in the color and movement of the background. These marks taken together form the abstract narrative which tells the story of connection to land and life, bringing the artwork alive. The Navajo philosophical ideal of hozho: harmony, beauty, and balance is an essential element in these works, and functions as a guiding influence as Whitehorse paints. Mapping the Microcosm, will consist of a just over a dozen paintings from large to smaller scale.

Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo) is an established New Mexico based painter and printmaker who has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally since the 1980’s. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections. Museum collections include; Whitney Museum of American Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Denver Art Museum to name a few. Whitehorse has consistently exhibited in solo and group shows over the last 30 years. Her work is currently on view in Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists at Minneapolis Institute of Art, through August 18, and Six Navajo Masters at Booth Museum of Western Art, through August 4.

Image below: Fossil Bed, 2019, Oil, mixed media on paper mounted on canvas, 51 x 79 inches.