Yvette Achkar’s painting Untitled (2011) showcases her innovative experimentation with color while concealing her subject matter. The monochromatic yellow base – dominating the vertical composition – serves as a backdrop to the interplay of broad, dark blue, and black brushstrokes in the center. The right edge of the darkened center is accentuated by non-uniform, vibrant hues of bright blue, green, red, and orange. The sharp and energetic brushstrokes create a bold visual contrast with the bright base and dark center, highlighting the role of color in Achkar's artistic style.
By embracing the style of abstract expressionism, Achkar liberates herself from constraint. Through her use of color fields and gestural applications, she harnesses the power of paint to evoke a range of emotions and atmospheres. As such, she gives form to her innermost feelings and experiences. In this artwork, Achkar presents a visually complex image that showcases the interplay between contrasting artistic elements. The yellow base exudes a sense of tranquility and stability, while the center appears hollow, creating a feeling of uncertainty and unease. Depth is achieved through the use of a lighter blue tone, surrounded by darker hues of black, creating a contrasting effect.
Yvette Achkar’s technique radiates with robust energy, injecting her painting with a sense of vitality and dynamism. Her art is a personal journey of self-discovery, as she compares it to surfing between the “peak of a wave” and a “bottomless hollow”. The artwork embodies a balance between stillness and motion, stability and uncertainty, as seen in the contrast between the calm yellow base and the dynamic center. Moreover, her vigorous brushwork depicts a release of imagination as a subconscious, or automatic, creation.
Yvette Achkar uses abstract expressionism as a cathartic outlet for her personal experience as a modern artist, but also as a human sharing a universal experience with others. The painting is a potent illustration of this universal human condition, referring to the mental, emotional, and spiritual states that arise from the human experience. Such shared experiences include confusion, excitement, anxiety, serenity, and curiosity. Despite the commonality of the human condition, each individual differs in the way they process and react to it. This depiction of the human experience serves as a reminder of our shared humanity and distinctive individuality.