Emmi Whitehorse

Abstract symbols and markings over a gradient of color and tones in the work of Navajo contemporary artist Emmi Whitehorse invite steady meditation. Upon closer inspection they seem to form into an encrypted language of the earth to be carefully contemplated and felt for the beauty, balance, and harmony they translate of the earth’s land formations, abundance, and energies. Like a cardiogram and map of the earth’s topography, Whitehorse’s paintings zero in on a specific region whose unique pulses and abstract likeness are encoded against an atmospheric aura of color. Far from being a cold and distant observation of the land, each piece is an intimate quest to really know and become familiar with the land over time. Such intimate details include markings that symbolize the plant species unique to the region she depicts, as well as the people and experiences associated with the land itself. As the seedbed for the artist’s creativeness, her Navajo culture and background inspires a reverential bond between the artist and her land, as the relationship between her people and their land holds sacred value.

Over the course of her life since her graduate studies in the fine arts at the University of New Mexico, Whitehorse’s works have been exhibited in a number of solo and group shows across many noteworthy museums, galleries, and public collections in the US and abroad.