Emmi Whitehorse: Sanctum

November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021

No public reception scheduled at this time

Santa Fe, NM – As COVID-19 took hold of the world earlier this year, Emmi Whitehorse was starting a body of work for her upcoming solo show, “Sanctum,” on view November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021 at Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art. For her, painting this show became an opportunity to look inward, to reassess and ultimately to find strength in depicting the natural world and natural forms through abstraction.

The Navajo concept of hozho has always been a guiding light for Whitehorse to restore balance, to achieve an interconnectedness between beauty, harmony and grounding in the physical and spiritual world, resulting in health and well-being for all things and beings. During these peerless times, Whitehorse looked to her artwork for a re-balancing of the psyche, to achieve a sense of hozho in her artwork, which in turn would express holistic beauty in all things. Whitehorse believes “by depicting nature and natural forms in my painting, I can reassess our part in the world, and assimilate natural truths, which for me provides a renewal of the soul.”

In the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Whitehorse studied painting at University of New Mexico and was the youngest member of “The Grey Canyon Group,” an informal but formative group of seven Native American artists making contemporary art, including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Ed Singer, Paul Willeto, Conrad House, Larry Emerson, Felice Lucero-Giaccardo, and Whitehorse. As a part of this group, many of whom went on to define the Contemporary Native American Art genre, Whitehorse found the inspiration to follow her ideas into new visual territory, rejecting traditional imagery and materials. At a time when oil on canvas was considered the pinnacle, of fine art, Whitehorse forged her visual language with oil on paper. Working in a very intuitive way, developing a personal visual language based on nature, she expresses her unique perspective on the world. “I don’t have to prove I’m Native, and the work isn’t about that either. The work is about hozho, it’s about a certain place and time, it’s about color and movement, my markings take the viewer on a visual journey.”

Fast forward to the current times, Whitehorse has been painting for forty plus years. Her work embodies a confidence and freedom that comes as “you get comfortable in your own skin.” While her process is spontaneous, her series of paintings develop into a body of work, sharing a certain visual language which borrows from, and reacts to, each other. The titles of these abstract works are like a window to look through, or direction to look into, which strives to help us see balance, a natural order, and beauty in all things.

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. Recent museum exhibitions include “Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950-2019” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, 2020; “Six Navajo Masters” at the Booth Museum, Cartersville, GA, 2019; “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists” traveling 2019-2020, originating from the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Emmi Whitehorse, Sanctum

November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021

Due to COVID-19 retail restrictions, no public reception scheduled at this time.

Gallery open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

High resolution images available upon request from John Addison, john@chiaroscurosantafe.com, 505-992-0711.