Tidal Flats II #1565

Tidal Flats II #1565

Emmi Whitehorse
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mixed media on paper on canvas
51 x 39 1/2 in.
129.5 x 100.3 cm

Emmi Whitehorse is a painter and printmaker. Using a private language of symbols and memories, Whitehorse makes ‘personal diaries’ of her life as an artist and of her aboriginal heritage. She creates textures and colors that conjure up the atmosphere and experience of the New Mexico landscape. “This land appears in her work simultaneously as very distant and very close up, in atmospheric washes and sharp details and lines. As we see, her paintings are consummate abstractions, welcome in the world of art for art’s sake for their finely balanced forms and colors. They are also metaphysical views from the Navajo world. As such, they give viewers from both worlds’ a glimpse of what art can be.” -Lucy Lippard

“As an artist, I have intentionally avoided politically oriented subject matter and angst-ridden or physical wrestling with the act of painting itself. To make art, the act of making art must stay true to a harmonious balance of beauty, nature, humanity and the whole universe. This is in accordance with Navajo philosophy. I have chosen to focus on nature, on landscape.

My paintings tell the story of knowing land over time - of being completely, microcosmically within a place. I am defining a particular space, describing a particular place. They are purposefully meditative and mean to be seen slowly. The intricate language of symbols refers to specific plants, people and experiences....My work is about and has always been about land, about being aware of our surroundings and appreciating the beauty of nature. I am concerned that we are no longer aware of those. The calm and beauty that is in my work I hope serves as a reminder of what is underfoot, of the exchange we make with nature. Light, space and color are the axis around which my work evolves.” -Emmi Whitehorse


  • American Embassy- Japan, Uzbekistan, Slovenia
  • Denver Art Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian, DC
  • Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York