Sacred Resistance

June 21 – October 7, 2018



Sacred Resistance

Laurie Katz Yehia

Inspired by sacred texts, philosophy and literature, Yehia’s work explores the nature of

what we see and how we respond. Her mixed media paintings and constructions with re-

purposed objects encourage seeing beyond the habitual or status quo. At the same time,

the work is to be experienced simply as “what is,” which is something other than

language and incapable of precise understanding.

“Song of Songs” (2009), one of a series of oil paintings with mixed media on linen

canvas, was inspired by Old Testament passages and by passages of Radiance Sutras

from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Sutra 3. Layered, graffiti-like markings on plaster

evoke the texts graphically, while dissolving and tessellated imagery evoke their themes

of dispersement and re-unification with the Divine.

The “Purgatory” series was inspired by imagery and themes in Dante’s The Divine

Comedy. “Purgatory” (2011) re-ˇcontextualizes Dante’s 14th century allegorical poem of

spiritual growth and salvation, which in contemporary lexicon is about personal growth

and transformation through the integration of unconscious “shadows” with enlightened

“consciousness.” The painting’s surface grew out of a searching process that included

burning, scraping and sanding as well as applying tar, marble sand and oil paint.

“Adamantine” (2011) evokes the first of three steps leading up to Purgatory, described

by Dante as: “White marble…I saw myself reflected as I was.” (Canto IX, 94-ˇ96). Oil

paint and plaster are mixed with white marble sand to take on properties of white marble,

known for its relative resistance to shattering and capacity for taking on a reflective

polish. “Lethe” (2011) refers to the “sacred river,” which washes away all memory of sin

in Dante’s Earthly Paradise. The surface of thick oil paint, tar and marble sand was

inspired by “the heavenly forest thick with living green” where the inexhaustible stream

“flows dark, very dark, beneath an everlasting shade…” (Canto XXVIII, 2, 31-ˇ32).

“Empyrean” (2012) combines white oil paints, gesso, vellum and paper to express the

realm of light, geometry and “the fusion of all things” in the highest heaven of Dante’s

Paradise. (Canto XXXIII, 92).

“Light Emerging” (2013) invites contemplation of the relationship between object and art

as well as between materiality and energy. In “Switches” (2013), re-purposed objects

become repetitive forms with a minimal palette and invite shifts in perspective of

function, aesthetic value and meaning. Light switches suggest being empowered to turn

energy on and off. “Ex Nihilo” (2017) is constructed with re-purposed wall switch plates,

without the switches. Empty spaces in the plates, and the central oil painting surrounded

by blank plates, evoke an inherent power to “switch” – and to create something from

nothing. Repetition and variation in the wall plates of “Awakening” (2017) explore

geometries, colors and values associated with the energy of intention, awareness and

action. The “Sacred Resistance” series (2018) are single wall switch plates painted and

mounted on wood panels. Each one envisions being empowered to “flip the switch” in

troubled times.

June, 2018


Broadway World
One Woman Art Show