Michael Yoder, Wait the Sky (You Can Fall), exhibition view, the Locker Plant, February 2004

Michael Yoder

Inaugurating Chinati’s 2004 Artist in Residence season, New York based artist Michael Yoder held an exhibition of paintings made in Marfa during his residency. Wait The Sky (You Can Fall) featured four large-scale works made with a mixture of oil and acrylic paint. Active areas of flickering brushwork in bold colors are played against flat and smoothly applied colors from a more muted palette. The often frenetic gestural passages that sit at the front of the canvas define the works’ spatial compositions and seem to float on the color fields behind them. As a starting point, Yoder takes digital photographs that capture a certain element or mood of a place. He then manipulates these images, taking them apart and reorganizing their fragments into a whole abstracted composition. To render these reconstituted images on canvas, Yoder applies layers of paint and then strips away the ones that are masked. Visual facts are suggested and dissolved, straying from literal representation to offer instead an impression of a moment in time. The works for his show at Chinati were based on photographs he took in Marfa of local buildings, structures, and the landscape.

Yoder has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. In June 2004 his work was included in the inaugural RISD Fine Arts Biennial at Claire Oliver Fine Art in New York. In April 2004 he took part in the Artists in the Marketplace group show at the Bronx Museum in New York. This fall, he will have a solo exhibition at Gallery Katz in Boston, Massachusetts. Yoder has held teaching positions at Adelphi University, New York, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Yoder holds a master’s of fine arts degree in painting from RISD.