Top Left: This small work by Martynovskaya shows her interest in what happens when edges meet. None of her artwork is titled, Martynovskaya said. Middle: Martynovskaya Artist In Residence-Painting Right: Islamic art pattners on a mosque in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy of Dreamtime.com Bottom Row: Left: "I really like the big areas versus the very detailed areas," said the artist, Yelena Martyovskaya. "Some of the areas seem vast, they expand and your eye doesn't settle on one thing." But the off-beat elements of the painting raise questions in the viewer's mind, who then comes in to examine the painting more closely. And there the viewer will be confronted with one of Martynovskaya's "small complexities" that force the eye to follow a maze of tiny lines that both separate smaller shapes within but that also create the cohesiveness to make it a tiny, complicated unit. Middle: Martynovskaya Artist In Residence-Yelena Right: One of thousands of pieces of art on public display in the subway stations of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Yelena Martynovskaya, who saw these often as a child, was awed by their beauty.
Yelena Martynovskaya, Northwestern's first artist in residence of the year, creates paintings that take opposites – a vast and unmarked space, say, and a tiny, complicated one – and lays their edges together to see what will happen. She seeks the harmony among the opposites that she knows she can find.
She knows she's done it when she can feel the harmony among all the various aspects of the painting.
"It's almost like when you listen to music and you hear that something is off and you don't know why." It's not in harmony. "That's what it's like for me. I can tell when the painting's i...