VINETVM ET CAELVM: vineyard & sky

July 27 – October 21, 2007 COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts

FOREWORD

COPIA is delighted to host this exceptional exhibition of recent work by our friend and neighbor, the celebrated artist Ira Yeager. These wonderful vineyard views capture the distinctive Napa Valley terroir with all the richness and immediacy of a great local Cabernet Sauvignon and, like a bottomless bottle, can be savored again and again. Ira has toiled in these vineyards to create something for all who love the simple beauty of country living and who long to escape the strains of the city in body or in spirit. His synthesis of wine and art is perfectly matched to COPIA’s mission, and we are grateful to Ira for sharing his vision of our Valley with all our members and visitors. Arthur Jacobus, president COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts

ARTIST STATEMENT

How could I not paint vineyards? Are they not stamped in my psyche? For twenty-five years as I awaken I see framed, each morning, a square format – a view of mountains, vineyards, and sky, both sunny and stormy, dark and light. Isn’t the sky sometimes filled with cracks and thick impasto – sometimes rainy and gray, the atmosphere always changing – both tumultuous and exuberant? This series provokes anger, bravura – rough, raw beauty pushing paint beyond the limits. As painting as an art form has diminished, art has become more to do with ideas and concepts than the painting. My continued seven-day-a-week painting schedule only excites me more for new fertile ventures on the canvas, daringly playing out that exhilarating game of chaos versus order. Planted in the landscape painting tradition my VINETVM series has evolved from the roots of many influences. My experiences living and studying in Europe, my great curiosity, and love of reading, all have provided me with a constant source of new ideas. The various levels of my creative consciousness combining intellect and emotions and above all a rebellion against mediocrity have, for me produced all of the qualities found in this new series of landscape paintings. I see them as a step beyond California figurative painting and abstract expressionism.