Fine art

The desert intense

Japanese artist Izumi Yokoyama debuts new exhibition in El Prado


An exhibition of works by Japanese artist Izumi Yokoyama, titled "Dreamer on the Mesa," opens today (April 20) at magpie gallery in the Overland Compound at 1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in El Prado. A reception where members of the public can meet the artist is planned May 16.

Yokoyama was born in 1980 in Niigata, Japan. She moved to Taos from Los Angeles, California, in 2010. "It is her first solo exhibit in Taos and first time showing at magpie," gallery owner Georgia Gersh said in a prepared statement. "Her work is incredibly beautiful, powerful and intricate. It demands the space that the gallery annex allows and I am honored to host her [premiere] here."

The artist says about the works in the show: "This series of pen and ink drawings represent the lessons I've learned dreaming about nature on the mesa. When I first saw the Taos sky illuminated with stars, it completely took my breath away. I felt lost in the dark. Soon, I became overwhelmed, like a child with newly opened eyes. The pure excitement I felt that night was the spark that fueled me to create these drawings."

After making a home on the mesa for "five intense years," she now lives in town. "While living on the mesa, I could scarcely imagine making art about it," Yokoyama continues. "The distance I gained by moving away allowed me to construct the scenes that were developing in my mind. I combined photographic scenes with my own raw emotions to create the final product."

She said she came to appreciate "the simple things and to accept the cycles of life and death. Living on the mesa, my spirit felt a kinship with the spirit of the animals I saw and heard. I came to respect the dark night and the importance of solitude. I was then presented with and became aware of some simple but very powerful lessons to be learned. Bringing these lessons to light with ink and pen is my work. My ideas are surreal, while my style of art is realistic.

"On the mesa, everyday scenes are vast and breathtaking. Drawing these scenes has been a meditative and transcendent experience. I hope my work offers a similar experience to my viewers."

For more information, call the venue at (781) 248-0166 or visit