Artist Statement, Perceptions of War
As a person, I have walked many paths, none in isolation. I am a part of those before me, I am the now, I am a part of my children and children’s children. This creative spirit that is within has always been a part of me, has always found a way to express, has opened awareness to broader perspectives. As I have matured as an artist, I realize I have an obligation to be true to myself, and to humanity.
Wars leave no person unscathed. For the series, War – The River Runs Deep, I have chosen to put the focus on the human element, in my grandmother’s life, there was displacement caused by war, separation of families, government aggression, and now nearly a hundred years later, there is still displacement of humanity, still separation of families, and yes, aggressive governments that set pain and suffering in motion. As a child, I can remember clinging to the hand of my uncle, not comprehending what was happening, but feeling the fear, fear deep in my gut. Today, war takes on a different, broader context. Why do veterans often have to fight their own government agencies for the health care they need to heal broken bodies and minds. Why is there disproportionate homelessness among veterans, both male and female. And yes, today humanity is still being displaced; refugees are still seeking asylum.
For the series, Holding Space, I have chosen to use mixed media with found metal as a catalyst, as an instigator of line, direction and movement through its varied texture. In reference to war, there is the contrast of constants in our world with the degradation of the found metal, a world in a constant state of flux where humanity too is a part of the dichotomy.
Wars leave no person unscathed. It matters not which “side” you claim, pain, sorrow and death are real. War both directly and indirectly affect each of us, for we do not live in isolation; we are a part of humanity.
Art is not something I do, but rather, it is a reflection of who I am. As I honor the process, my work takes on complexities which parallel life itself. There is a reality and then there is a reality beyond “real.”
Years ago while at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., my experience with an abstract painting changed how I perceived reality.
It’s almost closing time. Exhaustion forces me to sit a moment. There before me hangs a huge black and white Franz Klein. Allowing myself to be pulled into the painting, I become aware of movement – the tension of two black shapes pulling together, the silhouette of a white shape exerting resistence.
At that point, I realized, this is a new reality. Could I use imagery but incorporate these ideas? Make shapes push or resist, make the imagery part of the movement?
The process is “letting go.” Letting go first of visual perceptions I see before me and tapping into an inner experiential perception. From that vantage point, I don’t “see” just a pot of geraniums, but rather, I experience them as a child watching my Grandmother tend mismatched pots and cans of the gangly plants. The sun washed colors, the defining shadow patterns are there, but there is more.
Letting go further moves the work into this place where the function of shapes supersedes the visual and experiential perceptions.
Here is where layers of color simply hold spatial positions.
Where shapes form masses that set up movement.
Where color relationships set up a “give and take,” a part of one object, yet a part of another.
Where loose definition allows viewer interpretation.
These are things I cannot consciously make happen, but as I move through the process of “letting go,” I know when the work flows and when it is lifeless or static.
Movement is a part of all life. My work is not about isolated images, but rather an integrated imagery that exists as a part of this continuum.
Born February 2, 1938 in Shattuck, Oklahoma. Spent early years in the plains region of Texas. Graduated with a B.S. with honors in 1964 from the Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma. Studied at
the Art Students League in Denver, Colorado from 1987 – 1988.
2010 – 2013 “Friends of Pleiades” Invitational Show, Pleiades Gallery, New York City, New York
2000 – 2014 Panhandle- Plains Historical Museum Invitational Show, Canyon, Texas
2012 Strokes of Genius Exhibition, MFA Circle Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland
2012 BACKLASH-on Women’s Basic Rights and Freedoms, Soho20 Gallery, New York, New York
2006 “Marilyn Laubhan Yanke”, Sunset Art Gallery, Amarillo, Texas
2003 “Canvases in Bloom”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1989 – 2002 76th, 78th, 82nd, 83rd, 88th & 89th Annual Allied Artists of America, New York City, New York
1998 – 2000 Oil Painters of America National Show, Washington, DC, Scottsdale, Arizona and Carmel, California
1999 “Marilyn’s Garden”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1999 “Auvillar, 1998”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1996 “Windows of Life”, Quast Galleries, Taos, New Mexico
1995 “Speaking of Color”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1995 “Auvillar, 1994: A Very French Exhibition”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1994 “Recent Works”, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
1994 “Our Women: Women Artists of Quast Galleries”, Quast Galleries, Taos, New Mexico
1993 “Holiday Parade”, featured artist, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
1990 “Yanke”, Saks Gallery, Denver, Colorado
1998 – 1990 “American Herstory: Women and the US Constitution”, Atlanta, Georgia, travelling show
1988 “60th Grand National Exhibition, American Artists Professional League, New York City, NewTexas
“Best of Flower Painting 2”, Northlight Books, 1999
Taos Magazine, cover and “A Place of Traditional Sensibilities” May/June, 1998
Taos Magazine, “Windows of Life”, January/February, 1996
New York Graphic Society, “Spring Cutting”, 1996
Artist Magazine, “Two Ways to Strengthen a Landscape”, May, 1991
2002 89th Annual Allied Artists of America, New York City, New York, Ethel Gilmore – Charles J. Romans Memorial Award
2001 88th Annual Artists of America, New York City, New York, Art Student’s League Award
2000 9th National Oil Painters of America, Gallery Americana, Carmel, California, Tara/Fredrix Award, Best Still Life
1998 7th National Oil Painters of America, Long Grove, Illinois, Glaser Award
1996 5th National Oil Painters of America, Long Grove, Illinois, Vito Award
1994 3rd National Oil Painters of America, Long Grove, Illinois, Winsor and Newton
1990 77th Annual Allied Artists of America, New York City, New York, Gloria Benson Stacks Award for Southern Artist
1988 60th Grand National Exhibition, American Artist Professional League, New York City, New York, Claude Parsons Memorial Award for Landscape
Allied Artists of America Full membership
Oil Painters of America Signature Member
Salmagundi Club Non-Resident Member