Inman Gallery is pleased to present "bohemians" by Yuko Murata. This will be Murata’s third solo show with the gallery.
Yuko Murata characterizes her landscapes, and the animals that populate them, as “scenes along the
way.” She works from postcards and travel brochures, and her paintings share in that atmosphere of
dislocated fantasy: they depict remote sanctuaries famous more as images than as actual destinations.
Rather than pining for paradise itself, Murata settles down in its reflection. Her heavy brushstrokes and
broad swaths of color pare the stock photos down to their simplest elements, emphasizing the distance
between the image and its source. She makes her home in that disjunction, in composite scenery built
from fragments of a collective ideal.
Murata’s most recent body of work, bohemians, follows a group of swans across
this synthetic environment: past felled trees, through rolling hills, and out into open water.
Simplified to an iconic checkmark, the swans are moments of serenity amidst swirling
expanses of bright green, soft pink and deep blue. They drift from painting to painting
casting glances at an errant pair of moose antlers or gazing out towards a distant
landmass, becoming proxies for Murata herself, guides into her makeshift world.
Yet, as is typical of Murata’s animals, these nomads aren’t entirely approachable. Facing
the viewer, clustered near the foreground, they seem to be forever crossing our path, rather
than leading the way. As with the landscapes they roam, the swans are equal parts aspirational and transitory, inviting but fundamentally mysterious.