Karen Yank – #12
Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 1.5″
Media: aluminum, wood, nails, paint
Karen Yank’s #12 features a sharp contrast between light and dark and intriguingly vertical repetition of lines and spaces. This body of work by Karen Yank is an artistic acknowledgment of Yank’s mentor, the great American artist Agnes Martin. Yank and Martin were great friends, and Martin was a large inspiration on Yank’s artistic vision. This particular body of Yank’s work was inspired by Yank’s revisiting her mentor’s works at a recent exhibition at the Guggenheim.
One of the West’s leading public artists, Karen Yank has formulated and fabricated sculpture for outdoor sites throughout the Mountain states and beyond. Yank is known for a rigorous geometric style normally dependent on the form of the circle. From time to time, however, she modifies her approach to fit the physical, functional, and symbolic factors operating at the site. No work of hers, however, has “broken the circle” to the extent that Growing Strength has. In order to celebrate the institution it inhabits and the ecology and society of the surrounding region, Karen Yank has let her thoughts flower and her forms burgeon accordingly. Geometry still plays a prominent role in the formal language of Growing Strength, but organic forms have “invaded” rather deeply here, giving the sculpture (actually, sculptural arrangement) an overtly lyrical bent. Trained as a master sculptor working in steel and other metals, Yank manages to create a soft, organic feeling with industrial materials in works like #12.