Charles Yoder’s paintings selectively capture the peaceful scenes of a winter’s night, encouraging their viewers to appreciate the aesthetic interest of these quiet moments.
The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, is currently hosting a solo exhibition of nocturnes by established painter Charles Yoder. “Dancing in the Moonlight: Nocturnes by Charles Yoder” is on view through March 2.
Charles Yoder, “Dancing in the Moonlight,” 2008, oil on canvas, 32 x 48 in. Photo Bill Orcutt
The exhibition’s title refers to an essential moment in Yoder’s painting career, when, irrevocably moved by the beauty of a winter’s evening in his backyard, Yoder was dislodged from the world of abstraction and the natural world became his only subject. The paintings on display in the present exhibition are nocturnes, mostly set in the winter, wherein moonlight plays a special role.
Charles Yoder, “Rhythm in Blues,” 2013, acrylic and oil on canvas, 36 x 84 in. Photo Bill Orcutt
With great poignancy, Yoder captures the visual effects of singular moments in the winter night forest: the movements, formations, and substance of the clouds; the play of the forest’s innumerable bluish shadows across a vast white floor; the irregular, linear qualities of dead brush poking through the smoothly undulating surface of the snow. Yoder’s nocturnes are still and meditative, humble in subject but effectively moving.
Charles Yoder, “Transport,” 2010, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 in. Photo Bill Orcutt
Charles Yoder (b. 1948) earned his arts education at the University of Maine and the Pratt Institute. In addition to painting full-time, Yoder teaches printmaking classes at New York’s School of Visual Arts.
Charles Yoder, “High Ground,” 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas, 60 x 45 in. Collection of Tim and Cathi Newton. Photo Bill Orcutt
The Mattatuck Museum is operated with support from the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, a group of 16 world-class museums and historic sites (www.arttrail.org). Located at 144 West Main Street, on the green in Waterbury, Connecticut, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 12-5 p.m. To learn more, visit www.mattatuckmuseum.org.