A reception was held November 14 for Mym Tuma's art exhibition at Green Earth Gallery in Riverhead. The event celebrated the 136th birthday of Tuma's mentor, Georgia O'Keeffe, and the show features Tuma's sculptured paintings created in the late 1960s and early 1970s with O'Keeffe's support. COURTESY THE ARTIST
Green Earth Gallery in Riverhead is currently showing a collection of the organic minimalist works of naturalist artist Mym Tuma. Tuma’s career spans five decades and focuses on the simplicity and beauty of the organic form.
A significant aspect of her career and strong influence in her work was her close relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe, who became her informal mentor. Under O’Keeffe’s mentorship, Tuma’s creative process flourished. The show celebrates the 136th birthday of O’Keeffe.
In the 1960s Tuma discovered T.S. Elliot’s quote: “I construct something upon which to rejoice.” It became one of her personal mantras which she integrated into her artwork with the concept of freeing visual forms from confining frameworks or grids, and metamorphosizing into a free visual form conveying empowerment. Her ideas about art germinate from the premise that we are all born out of the rhythms of nature. She captures the rejuvenating energy in the composition of shells and seeds by abstracting into pictorial forms. The spiral, an embryonic shape, is common and found in most pieces.
Since the 1960s Tuma has focused on new materials and shaped canvases merging painting and sculpture. Abstract images in fiberglass are reinforced with mesh wire. The artist refers to this technique as “sculptured painting” communicating the theory that “organic” contours and autonomous shapes project “energy” in space, moving away from the confines of the grid.
Tuma is not only a visual artist, but a published author, poet and committed environmentalist. She has lived on the East End for 27 years. Working in the open environment on the beaches is essential to the theme of renewal.
“I watch the unity of the sky and the action of the waves eroding the dunes,” she said. “You, too, may long to return to living on an island where one seeks solitude in simplicity.”
Green Earth Gallery is at 50 East Main Street in Riverhead. For more information, call 631-369-2233, or visit mymtuma.com.
One fine body…