September Vhay & Erica Vhay, "Vhay & Vhay"

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May 24, 2022


may 24 – june 4, 2022

Altamira Jackson is pleased to present Vhay & Vhay, an exhiition of new work from sisters September and Erica Vhay.


Please join us for the Artists Reception, Thursday, May 26th from 5:30-7:30pm at our Jackson gallery.



In their distinctive registers as painters, September and Erica Vhay each explore freshness and wonder. September is doing so by stopping at the precise moment when the personality of her subject appears—no further details required to capture the essentialcharacter of her animal muses. Erica, in turn, is letting the loose gesture of her background washes become an organic foil for human finitude, a juxtaposition of free-flowing nature with exacting figuration. By relinquishing control of their compositionsand by trusting their instincts as artists, the sisters present their work as testaments to the wonder found in distillation, the connection forged by vulnerability.


At this moment, Erica finds herself thinking less about the paint, more about the process. She is letting her steps surface; washes have always been an important initial gesture in her process, but never so present in the finished painting. Now mindfully building her backgrounds, she’s adding more layers and amplifying texture. “There’s a dream-like quality to the background, which contrasts the figure in the foreground as reality,” she says. “It’s as if nature and our ordered world are overlapping.” In this juxtaposition, she hopes to stir existential questions: “How often do we truly connect to natural perfection, and let it become a large part of our lives and what we create?” Within the contrast, Erica expresses the joy of connection—an awareness she feels acutely post-pandemic. “The togetherness and re-found joy that I’ve been feeling lately is coming out in the work. Freshness too.”


Meanwhile, September Vhay is testing her tolerance for abstraction—a route she’s wanted to take for a long time, empowered by her series of sumi-ink drawings. The red horses—studies of equine essence—conveycharacter in select, serene brushstrokes. Such distillation requires courage and confidence on the part of the artist. “Telling the whole story is safer, expected,” September says. So often, she’s fallen in love with her compositions half-finished, when the psyche of the subject suddenly surfaced from the crosshairs of her marks. In those moments, there’s a looseness that remains. Now, she is stopping there, a gutsy move that taps the 20 years she’s spent working as a fine artist. “I’m trusting myself more,” she says. The personality of a Black Angus bull, rendered in raw charcoal, emerged just as September was roughing in the shoulder blade. As such, the viewer must engage with the work, filling in details as they desire. “When a piece of art represents a clear gesture, there is a sense of surprise which leads to wonder. The viewer completes the piece.”


Presales available. Contact the gallery for more details: (307) 739-4700.