Tripoli Gallery in Southampton will be exhibiting Two Weeks in Umbria, a new collection of paintings by Darius Yektai, starting Saturday, February 8.
The show, marking Yektai’s third solo endeavor with the gallery, features a series of 25 modestly sized works painted over 14 days in Italy’s Montecastello di Vibio, a medieval hilltop fortress town in Umbria. Secluded in the small village, Yektai was able to devote himself exclusively to painting—most of which was done en plein air, under the region’s bright, bleaching summer sun.
Each day, Yektai hiked down, and returned up, the mountain; carrying his paints and a wooden box that he crafted especially for holding his canvases. Amongst olive trees, fields, winding pathways and potted geraniums, the artist turned to his surroundings as subject.
“Fields laid on top of each other like bricks and mortar, so when you look at the landscape there’s a brickwork pattern,” the artist explains, noting, “The landscape lends itself to abstraction.” Responding to the topographical differences from his Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor home and studio, Yektai focused on the landscape’s sloping hills, allowing the landscape itself—and the features within it—to become his primary forms.
During the two weeks in Umbria, Yektai painted five to six paintings each day, responding to what he was seeing with an immediacy and freedom that could only have been achieved beyond the studio. Not intending to show the works, the artist left pencil marks, rough edges and areas of untouched canvas, along with contrasting areas left piled high with paint—in adherence to their initial integrity and honesty.
Yektai studied at Occidental College in Los Angeles, graduated from American University in Paris with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and went on to study painting at San Diego State University. His work has been exhibited extensively in New York and on the East End of Long Island—including Darius Yektai: Survey 2000 – 2003 a solo show at Guild Hall in 2003, and Not Everyone Gets a Unicorn and On Country Ground in 2010 and 2013 at Tripoli Gallery.
He was awarded “Best in Show” at the Guild Hall Museum Annual Members Show in 2002, “Best Sculpture” in 2008 and “Best Representational Work” in 2010. Yektai’s work is in international private collections and in the permanent collection of Guild Hall in East Hampton.
Tripoli Gallery is located at 30a Jobs Lane in Southampton Village. Call 631-377-3715 or visit tripoligallery.com for more info.