The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World: Lowell Boyers, Susan Homer, Esther Traugot and Charles Yuen
Oct. 23 – Dec. 3, 2019
Artist’s Talk: Wed. Oct. 23, 5-6pm
Opening Reception: Wed. Oct. 23, 6-8pm
The Mueller Gallery is pleased to present “The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World: work by Lowell Boyers, Susan Homer, Esther Traugot and Charles Yuen”. There will be a reception for the artists on Wed. Oct. 23 from 6-8pm and an artist’s talk with all four artists present from 5-6pm on the same day.
The philosopher, theologian, and Iranologist, Henry Corbin coined the term “mundus imaginalis” to explain to Westerners the Sufi concept of a realm that exists between the physical, sensory world and the spirit world. Corbin chose the term “imaginal” carefully; he did not want the Imaginal to be misconstrued with the idea of something that is imaginary – something purely invented – for the mundus imaginalis is as real as our waking world; in fact, Corbin stated that the mundus imaginalis is more real.
Corbin’s work provided a foundation for archetypal psychology developed by the psychologist James Hillman who sought to explore images rather than explain them. Working with the Imaginal, Hillman’s belief was that by giving images attention and mentally shaping them with sensitivity, one can engage with these images in a way that Hillman called “soul-making”.
The artists represented in this exhibition not only create images but they grapple with the idea of what an image actually is. According to James Hillman, an image is not just a picture of something you have seen and that comes to you via your physical senses nor is it a construction of the mind that has emotional or symbolic meaning. Rather, Hillman is positing that an image has its own autonomy and is a direct expression of the soul.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Charles Yuen has had several one-person and numerous group exhibitions since moving to New York City in 1981. He has been the proud recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2018), the Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation artist grant (2011), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptures Grant (2006), an Artists’ Projects: New York State Regional Initiative grant (1994, Rockefeller Foundation, Andy Warhol Fund, N.E.A., and the Jerome Foundation sponsors), and was an Artist in Residence at the Asian Arts Institute (1983-4, NYSCA). Reviews of his art have also appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, the New York Times, Time Out, Brooklyn Rail, Cover, Art Papers, House and Garden, as well as many community papers and culturally oriented blogs. Yuen’s work is represented in private collections and public collections are University of Virginia (VA), The State Foundation for Culture and the Arts collection (HI) and the Honolulu Museum of Art (HI).
Originally from Hawaii Yuen earned a B.F.A. from the University of Hawaii and an M.F.A. from Rutgers University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
My work delights in the iconoclastic by denying primacy to “logical” spaces in favor of poetic, experiential ones. They are a meditation on a secret pact between our subjective and objective selves. Wave fields conjuring microwave-radar-electromagnetic-gravitational forces tighten the space. Nested in this thrumming background is a wandering vocabulary of images evoking stories that champion absurdity and acceptance, hubris, and redemption. Humans and plants merge, boundaries blur, and meaning multiplies. Using a process of discovery, these paintings offer archeology of their own creation; pentimenti belies false starts and buried metaphors. The physicality of paint is employed, paradoxically, to portray the invisible. These paintings resist complicity with a mass media’s propensity towards dehumanization. Battered, scarred, self-doubting surfaces conjure a contemporary condition.
Esther Traugot’s installations include crocheted wrappings around found natural objects with hand-dyed yarns, investigating a personal relationship with the natural world through enhancing their forms and the space they occupy. Her experiences growing up in the rural landscape amidst an idealistic farming community influenced her interest in the relationship between nurturing and controlling nature.
Traugot received her BFA from the University of California Berkeley in 2005, and her MFA
rom Mills College in 2009. Her work has been exhibited in the Bay Area at venues such as the Berkeley Art Center, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek and the Robert F. Agrella Gallery at Santa Rosa Junior College, and nationally at the El Paso Museum of Art, the Irvine Fine Arts Center, the Samek Gallery at Bucknell University in PA. The recent past has led her to exhibit in L.A., New York, and Paris. She has two large installations in the permanent collections of Neiman Marcus in the locations of Walnut Creek, and Beverly Hills, CA.
Esther Traugot is represented by Chandra Cerrito Contemporary Gallery in Oakland and Muriel Guepin Gallery in NY, and currently lives and works in Sebastopol, California.
Susan Homer was born in Boston and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Bremen, She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing in Maine. In 2011, she was awarded a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Grant. She exhibits her work in New York and other places, and it is held in private collections throughout the United States, including the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., and the University of New Mexico Art Museum.
I have painted birds, flowers, and trees for more than twenty-five years. I am interested in the realm between the real and the folkloric, between what I see in front of me and what I imagine. Through the process of painting, I hope to conjure a timeless place where traces of actual things and events and my state of mind are revealed. My paintings are straightforward in their execution and yet nonetheless romantic in their associations. They are expressions of longing—for Maine, where, since childhood, I have spent summers at my family’s house in Bremen; for my grandmother and her garden; for sanctuary from the passage of time.
and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Bremen, Maine.
Lowell Boyers (American, b.1966) is a Contemporary painter, often working in a variety of materials, such as acrylic resins and inks, and blending figurative and abstract imagery. Boyers received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Yale University. His work has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, including in Cologne, Abu Dhabi, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas.
In the landscape of my paintings, there is no distinction between the inside and outside of perception. The painting is like a piece of music, marks like notes, just enough to elicit reflection, swirls, and diaphanous pours of paint, veils of inner and outer textures of the current moment. The poured paint is ground, waves, skylike expanses, circulatory systems, bodily fluid, and at the same time images seem to appear and disappear in the paint as water turns into fire, Fire into wings, heart into the head, head into the landscape, landscape into vessels, waves into breath and wind, paths into neural networks, and flowers into exploding stars in the skies. Everything is constantly changing and even in its glorious mutability. I try to use paint and painting to examine that phenomenon.