Sublimation: Ancestral Patterns is the fifth and most significant Florida based solo exhibition for artist Ya Levy La’Ford, featuring several of her large-scale highly regarded stain-dyed paintings, cast from her self-made pigments, colorants and paints. The geometric composed paintings serve as a gesture reflecting her Jamaican cultural hybridity through her journey to challenge notions of humanistic patterns and unseen experiences. Meticulous and methodical earth palettes inform the canvas, communicating vibrations to find ancestral whispers to progress the human story.

“La‘ford’s work pursues a keen understanding of the relationship and symbolic trajectories of the human experience and offers the viewer an instinctive pull towards the spiritually sublime,” says Yeelen Gallery owner Karla Ferguson.

Ancestral Patterns sublimated approach emphasizes a universal language that seeks an expansive, meditative posture that exudes the juxtaposition of finding light in dark. “As the work is viewed, the paintings infuse the environment with mystery intersecting with a loud silence to a universal whisper”, says La’ford. As viewers immerse themselves into the space, it aims to become an exchange of individual realities interwoven with the realism of the paintings as conceptual.

Vibrant planes of vermilion, cerulean and amber create a visual field that eclipses geometric flatness, inducing a luminous atmosphere that teeters on the edge of optical perception. The intermingled and cascading patterns emerge, geometry bends around itself, and shapes are shifted to find balance as drifting tonalities seem both motionless and radiating, emitting a sense of glowing transparency and the rich, ophthalmic warmth of captured light. These sensations foster a contemplative experience and encourage the viewer to expand outward and travel inward, moving simultaneously toward an understanding of the space and light in which the paintings inhabit, while forging a quiet and powerful personal awareness.

About the Artist

Ya La’ford received her MFA from Art Institute of Boston in 2012, and her juris doctorate from University of Florida.  Her work has been displayed at Clark Atlanta University, Rosenthal Gallery, Boston University, CHIHULY Gallery, Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, Dunedin Fine Art Gallery.  La’ford is currently preparing her upcoming exhibitions at MFA, St. Petersburg, Ringling, and Tampa Museum, as well as in Thailand, Cuba, Egypt, and Colombia. Ya La’ford is a grant recipient of Joan Mitchell Foundation scholarship, and her work can be found in numerous corporate and private collections across Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Among the most innovative contemporary artists and abstract painters, Ya La’ford’s paintings and installations explore themes of interconnectivity, meditation, and purity through landscapes of self-made earth tones. As fate would have it Ya La’ford is also the granddaughter of renowned artist John Dunkley, one of Jamaica’s first and finest intuitive painters.  His first solo show in America, Neither Day nor Night, will be on display at PAMM end of May 2017 http://www.pamm.org/exhibitions/john-dunkley-neither-day-nor-night.  

Influenced by artists such as Mark Rothko, Norman Lewis, Sam Gilliam, Alma Thomas, Barnet Newman, Helen Frankenthaler and John Dunkley, La’ford remixes, combines, and unifies color, shape, and line to establish a spiritual relationship with the viewer, evoking feelings of enlightenment and self-awareness.