Janise Yntema is noted as one of the foremost contemporary artists working in encaustic painting, the ancient technique composed of beeswax, resin and pigment fused with heat. She is. She is this material. Her process involves a slow application of pigmented and translucent layers of wax, to create an effect of diffused light. With her recent inclusion of original photography, she has brought a contemporary platform to this historic medium, blurring the boundary between photography and painting.
Yntema writes, “How do we locate reality in an age when alternative truths frame both politics and press? Is photography objective in representing recorded fact, or has it always been an alternative truth? And where lies certainty within digital imaging, when what is objective and what is manipulated has been blurred, fact is changed and what was once understood is questioned?
Certain facts have no alternatives. Since before the great forests were felled, manipulation of landscape has altered our ecosystem. Whether by plastic micro-particle or accumulated chemical compounds, the changes today may not always be seen, but remain unquestionably real.
This use of beeswax draws the conversation to environmental concerns. Will beeswax encaustic, the oldest known painting technique, remain viable?
What can remain of our attachment to landscape in this globalized world? Our cultural construct as individual identity, our memories of the sublime.
It is idea of landscape that will exist. Somewhere between the myth and reality, therein lies the truth.”
With the use of beeswax, question of environmental as subject remains relevant and alludes to larger concerns. Yntema has lectured on the global political regulations affecting farming, chemical usage the environment and the bees, with the goal to bring awareness to these issues, and promote grass-root change and sustainability.
Originally from New York, Yntema received her formal art training at Parson’s School of Design/The New School in NYC and is listed, alongside Jasper Johns and Ai Wei Wei, as one of the “New School Notables”. She received the 2018 Vendéenne Award for outstanding contribution to the encaustic arts. Yntema is currently pursuing her masters in The History and Philosophy of Art at The Paris School of Art and Culture of Kent University. Having had solo and museums shows throughout the US and Europe, she is represented by A.I.R. Gallery in NYC and Cadogan Contemporary in London. Yntema’s works are in the collections of numerous museums and public collections in Europe and the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as numerous private collections.
Her publications include: A Sense of Place, Landscape and Identity, 2019 Cadogan Contemporary, The Temperature of Light, 2015, Kean University Press, The Quiet Landscape, 2015, Cadogan Contemporary and Still, 2009, Cadogan Contemporary.