The Atelier at Flowerfield announces “Charles Yoder: Natural Resources,” an exhibition showcasing an eclectic selection of East End artist Charles Yoder’s large-scale landscapes created in oil, acrylic, monotype, linocuts, silkscreen, and other media. Featuring 20 works ranging from medium-sized to monumental (the anchor piece is a 24-foot-wide triptych), the exhibition highlights paintings that Yoder created over the last 20 years — his most prolific and inspired period of production since experiencing a pivotal moment in the woods in the late 1990s.
From the Atelier:
Coming of age as an artist in New York in the 1970s and 1980s, Yoder’s educational path took many interesting turns. While a student at Pratt Institute, he dabbled in illustration before moving on to printmaking, silkscreen, and finally painting. He landed his first job at Castelli Graphics in New York City in his 20s, where he began as an assistant and five years later left as the director. “I was doing prints myself, and I was the only one who knew the difference between a silkscreen and an etching,” the artist stated in a recent article in The East Hampton Star. Working at the height of the Pop Art movement in New York City, Yoder was rubbing elbows with such Castelli artists as Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Dan Flavin, and Robert Rauschenberg.
The innovative painter Robert Rauschenberg (known for his “Combines” of nontraditional materials) ended up offering Yoder a job as his curator. For the next 12 years, Yoder traveled the world working for an artist at the center of the contemporary art world. During this time Yoder often put into practice what he was learning and observing, searching for his own style through experimentation in both traditional and modern media. It was not until 1997 that Yoder experienced what he can only describe as an artistic epiphany. Walking through the moonlit Northwest Woods of his East Hampton backyard late one night, Yoder was stopped in his tracks.
That instinctual impulse toward nature and being in the present moment has become the foundation of Yoder’s artistic output. Careful not to forsake his fortuitous exposure to the brave minds of Modern art, Yoder has instead allowed all of his experiences and education to coalesce and find a crescendo in his distinctive abstract and representational prints and paintings. Like Thoreau who, after spending two years isolated in the woods, declared he could never have enough of nature, Yoder has found his artistic home in the great outdoors.
The artist’s ability to convey a specific moment of light could only come from spending hours soaking in the various ways light and shadow change course throughout the day and night. Working large-scale, Yoder must also coordinate and harmonize many different aspects of the picture — line, shapes, patterns, value, tone, chroma — to create the fluidity of movement and sense of musicality he consistently achieves.
The Atelier at Flowerfield’s director, Kevin McEvoy, has long been an admirer of Yoder’s work and is thrilled to be presenting these one-of-a-kind paintings at Atelier Hall. “Charles Yoder’s expansive canvases welcome the viewer into quiet moments of nature, inspired by the year-round, constantly changing beauty of Eastern Long Island’s woodlands,” McEvoy says. “At a staggering 24 feet in width, Yoder’s ‘Full Circle’ is a still testament to the passage of time, returning on itself.”
“Charles Yoder: Natural Resources” is on view through November 15, 2018, at the Atelier at Flowerfield (St. James, New York). For more information, please visit atelierflowerfield.org.