Buffalo, NY – Toma Yovanovich (American, 1931 - 2016) was a prolific printmaker and fine artist whose work can be found in collections around the world, including the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the University of Siena, the U.S. Information Service (Kyoto, Japan), Seoul National University College of Fine Arts, the Vatican Library and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Having earned both a BA and MS in art education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, Yovanovich exhibited widely across North America, but largely within the northeastern United States and Western New York.
Tongues of Flame is the artist’s first posthumous exhibit since his death in early 2016, and the first exhibit following the acquisition of his estate by the Benjaman Gallery Group. Tongues of Flame begins to explore the depths of the collected artworks left behind by the trailblazing artist who produced monotypes, woodcut prints, lithographs, and large-scale mixed media paintings. The title of the exhibit - derived from the Bible and cultural touchstones of the twentieth century - speaks to the fiery nature of the artist’s oeuvre as well as the personality of the artist as someone who ceaselessly pushed, plumbed, and prodded the concept of art making in the latter-half of the twentieth century.
His work not only reflects that of his contemporaries - in the vein of Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Grace Hartigan and Lee Krasner - but also prefigures contemporary artists such as Robert Mangold, Ellsworth Kelly, Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer. His burning, expressive style transcended media and pushed his career forward, and closer to the trajectory of some of the most celebrated artists within the art historical canon.
Tongues of Flame presents a wide array of monotypes, works on paper, and paintings that encapsulate the conflagration of styles and synthesis of the artistic eye that pushed Yovanovich ever onward through his career. This exhibit is co-curated by Dana Tyrrell, and will be on view at the Benjaman Gallery from First Friday April 7 - Saturday June 3. The Benjaman Gallery Group is also pleased to announce that one of Yovanovich’s original works will be raffled off with all proceeds from ticket sales being donated to the YWCA of WNY, in honor of Toma Yovanovich and those that follow in his footsteps.
ABOUT Toma Yovanovich
Yovanovich was a painter/printmaker whose work is in collections around the world, including the University of Siena (Italy), the U.S. Information Service (Kyoto, Japan), the University of Costa Rica, the Vatican Library (Rome), Seoul (South Korea) National University College of Fine Arts, the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), and the Academy of Art (Riga, Latvia). He has exhibited throughout Western New York and the northeastern United States. Yovanovich was born in Yugoslavia and earned a BA and MS in art education from the State University College at Buffalo.
Museums: Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME University of Siena, Siena Italy Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY American Center - US Information Services, Kyoto, Japan University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Vatican Library, Rome, Italy Kyoto University Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan Seoul National University College of Fine Arts, Seoul, South Korea Library of Congress, Washington, DC California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA Academy of Art Museum, Riga, Latvia.