The Bowery Gallery presents an exhibition of Younghee Choi Martin's "Recent Paintings: Myth of Orpheus," on view from December 26, 2012 through January 26, 2013. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, 5–8 pm, January 3, 2013.
There are over a dozen paintings ranging in size from mural scale, Here is the Meadow Where We Started, (74" x 112") to a more intimate size, On the Edge of Light, (12" x 21").Younghee Choi Martin's approaches and methods involve extremes. Some paintings have been labored over for several years, re-working, adjusting, scraping, repainting, and finally re-inventing the entire composition. The rigorous creative process results in varied density and unexpected moves within one canvas. Other paintings have been completed with ease in a few sessions. Similarly, many paintings are expressed in full color palette while others are painted nearly in monochrome, and still others in black and white over a field of a single dominant color. As she develops pictorial themes and ideas, they flow from large canvases to small sketches and back.
Younghee Choi Martin's interpretive vision of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus derives not only from classical sources, but also from Monteverdi's opera L'Orfeo. She draws a wealth of emotionally charged situations: the joyful preparation for a wedding, the tragedy of a wife's sudden death, the insurmountable challenge to persuade the god of the underworld through music, the illusion of victory destroyed by a doubting backward glance, and the inconsolable grief at the second loss of a loved one. Younghee structures these scenes of human vulnerability in painting terms, creating an expressive poetic fullness.
Her pursuit in Fine Arts began as a high school student attending the Brooklyn Museum Art School. She went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, RISD's Rome program, and Yale's Summer Program. In the 1980's, she was awarded painting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the NY CAPS program.
For over three decades, Younghee Choi Martin's works have been exhibited in New York and throughout the United States, Korea, Japan, France, and Italy, including 19 one-person shows and 50 group-shows in various galleries, museums, and art fairs. Over 80 paintings and drawings are placed in various collections in the United States, Korea, Japan, and India.