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Joyce Yamada: Trunk, Limb, Water, Blood

33 Years of Environmental Artwork

November 2- December 4, 2022

Opening Reception: Friday, November 4

From 6-8PM.

Amos Eno Gallery is pleased to present Trunk, Limb, Water, Blood, a solo exhibition featuring a survey of 33 years of environmental artwork by Joyce Yamada on view November 3 through December 4, 2022. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 4 from 6- 8 PM at the gallery’s location in 56 Bogart Street in Brooklyn, NY, across the street from the Morgan Ave L train stop. 


North America’s vast forests are being irrevocably destroyed by the logging industry. Since 1990 Joyce Yamada has been painting the human relationship to the natural world in both protest and celebration. Rejecting the idea that humans are privileged beings who can plunder Earth with impunity, she has instead envisioned humans as irrevocably entwined with nature. Yorick_Root, the keystone painting of the exhibit, is an oil painting inspired by an enormous Irish oak tree that fell over, revealing a human skeleton entwined in its roots.  In Trunk, Limb, she equates human limbs to the trunks and limbs of trees. In Body_Earth (peau d’orange) she envisions a human body as a fiery landscape; the red stream at the bottom of the painting is both water and blood, an illumination of the words of indigenous Australian philosopher-poet, Bill Neidjie who in the book “Australia’s Kakadu Man Bill Neidjie” said “Those trees… When you cut tree, it pump life away, all the same as blood in my arm”. This quote was pinned to her studio wall for many years.   In Miasma, she paints the boundary between clearcut forest and barren ground with added surveyor’s lines to denote the human compulsion to both plunder and control nature. Finding beauty in the entanglement of humans and nature, Communicant, Myco_tree, and Myco_root celebrate what science is now confirming: that symbiotic relationships between mycorrhizal fungi and old growth forest roots result in complex channels of communication among myriad trees in an intact forest. Humans are also entwined in these forests by weather, by climate, and by chemistry; forest bathing is an acknowledgment of the positive effects of forest chemicals on humans. Indeed, we are a part of nature, intimately entwined.


Joyce Yamada is both an artist and a physician. She studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute, UC Berkeley, and UT Austin. She graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School and became a board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist in 1984 after a 4-year residency. She alternated weeks of painting with weeks of radiology for two decades until retiring from medicine and moving to New York City in 2006. She had two solo shows in Dallas, TX while also working as a physician. She has been in numerous group shows in NYC, Boston, and Alexandria, VA. This is her first solo show in New York City.


Image: Joyce Yamada, Yorick_Root (detail), oil on linen, 51x68 in., 2018.

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