The twenty-one artists in Vibrant Matters are weavers. They are bricoleurs, collectors, storytellers, our new generation of historians, and painters of the impossible-to-describe thing that is the human psyche. This exhibition is a revisited iteration of the Yale MFA Painting & Printmaking 2022 Thesis Exhibition installed at Green Gallery in New Haven from January–March 2022, featuring new and recent work realized over the past two years.

My co-teacher, Rachelle Dang, began our thesis year together by asking the artists to reflect on shared resonances seen in one another’s work. Together, we named embodied knowledge, interdependence, mending and healing, nonlinear time, layered and unreliable histories, tangled ecologies, and above all, the reverberating power of the material world. Many artists in this exhibition accumulate, layer, and dissect their surroundings to reveal truths about human behaviors and our place in an ecosystem much larger than ourselves. Others trace single objects across space and time as a way to read and write new personal and collective histories.

Together, these artists express a collective, contingent, and tender self, searching for the body on the edges of perception; feel the haunting awe of the soil, the earth, and water, of being with animals, plants, and other creatures; and embody our many inadequate histories in order to tell new truths. Finally, they create with joy—a true love of painting and printmaking, of research, and of storytelling. They delight in collected materials, recorded sounds, in a new image found; in sharing poems, music, and mending between friends; in writing shared stories and finding escapes from the confines of an exhibition setting.—Melanie Kress

Melanie Kress is Associate Curator for High Line Art and Critic at Yale University School of Art.