Sunday, January 18, 2015

Yvette Endrijautzki Presents: Divine and Sacred

I met assemblage artist Yvette Endrijautzki (en-dreh-yowt-skee) in 2009, when she had a show at the Georgetown Art Center, where my studio was located at the time. She was shy and quiet, with long dreads and a post-Apocalyptic way of dress that wasn't quite punk, not quite street, not totally steam punk, but something in-between. Her work had elements of paper collage and flea market assemblage with messages about the social ills of this world woven throughout them. Despite tackling heavy themes (alcoholism, drug abuse), they were sweetly charming.

High Priestess, Yvette Endrijautzki
Five years later, the dreads are gone, the shyness has melted away and the work has come into itself with a sharp, resounding clang. Shadow boxes and collage work is gone, replaced with organically composed assemblages of toys, junk, taxidermy and everyday items bound together. The assemblages are then painted in patinas of verdigris and bronzes infused with dirt and sand. The themes are esoteric and universal, allowing the viewer to develop their own responses to what they see.
Perception, Yvette Endrijautzki
Yvette had a tough year with health issues plaguing her, making it virtually impossible to work on her craft for months at a time. I was worried that having her headline a show would send her over the edge, but she assured me she could pull through, despite the backlog. She dutifully picked a theme for her show, being things "divine and sacred", a theme that does not stray far from her personal mantra to living.
Demeter, Yvette Endrijautzki
Yvette delivered 12 pieces, many of them only days old, to Krab Jab Studio literally 24 hours before we held the opening reception. These pieces were infused with myth and a touch of melancholy. Nothing is random; each little object has it's purpose and place, a part of a narrative that we can only half-understand. Her work is sophisticated, dark, and sometimes humorous, but never hopeless or bleak. You can sense she has a deep connection to the spirit world; her inner ears are open and receptive.
detail, Awake from the Abysmal, Yvette Endrijautzki
For this show, Yvette chose four artists to support her: Seattle's Joe Vollan and Elijah Evenson, midwestern Drew Tucker, and Japanese artist Tokyo Jesus. Each brought their own vision to the table: Drew's work quietly deals with the very recent death of his father, and Joe's paintings also articulate the passage through death, but in an Americana vein. Elijah's large sculpture was inspired by his dream world, one that he literally melds with, and Tokyo Jesus' dark erotica emotes a love for the human figure in life and death, albeit starkly. Whether accessible or not, each artist conveyed their  own personal vision to what is Divine and Sacred to themselves and, ultimately, to the viewer.
the Resurrection of the Garuda, mixed media sculpture, Elijah Evenson
Nov 18, Oil on pressboard, Drew Tucker
Bleed, mixed media, Tokyo Jesus
We adorned musical instruments with our dead so they would live on forever in our songs, acrylic on wood, Joe Vollan
It's clear that Yvette, though physically and emotionally spent with the work she completed  for this show, is bound for a future far greater than even I can imagine for her. She always lands on her feet, with her assemblages growing far more sophisticated and wondrous with every challenge she faces. She never ceases to amaze me. Sure, I'm biased: if you knew her, you'd be too. But her work can stand on it's own and speak a million words in the stillness that surrounds it. And that is truly divine.

This show will be on display through February 6th, with a closing reception from 6 - 9 pm.

~Julie Baroh, January 2015

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