Water: Element of Life

This exhibit features water/ice related selections from across Yu's 35+ series of work. Vibrant blues and purples paired with hints of green, gold, white, black, and brown dominate this exhibit as it provokes the viewer to think about one of Earth's most valuable resources: water - element of life.

One of Yu's goals is to show the movement, beauty, and struggles in nature through her massive abstractions on canvas. Glacial melting is her favorite topic to paint, and she didn't realize when she began the series many years ago how it would become such a global issue today. Water is a resource we don't often think about on a daily basis in a country like America where many of us live in homes with endless sources of water with the turn of a knob.


From the Director


Water is so dynamic—life-giving and life-taking, calming and exciting—and yet we often take this important resource for granted. 

In some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. We can go for a month or so without food, but only a week or so without water. Every year, we hearof floods and victims drowning. A warm bubble bath, waves on the beach, and a babbling brook provide scenes and sounds of relaxation. As a whitewater kayaker, rushing waterfalls thrill the adrenaline junkie in me, and a hot shower and hot runningwater after a day on the river seem luxurious. In some countries today, clean potablewater is a scarce resource to attain in jugs after miles of walking. In the U.S., we can easily take for granted  over a dozen different sink, shower and tub faucets for instantaneous, temperature-controlled water right in our own homes. 

Across multiple series, Marlene Yu's recognizable style developed through the years highlights the beauty, motion, depth and forms of water.  In her words, she likes to "capture the spirit of the universe, its rhythm and movements, its quiet and angry moods." 

"Water - Element of Life" will be a gorgeous, breathtaking exhibit to commemorate the Marlene Yu Museum’s first birthday, and allow people to experience their relation to water in new ways. I hope you will join me in supporting the Museum at the Preview Gala. It will be the first new exhibit in the main exhibition hall since the Grand Opening a year ago. 

Thank you to everyone for your generous support and words of encouragement as we continue to grow.  Please tell your friends about us! 

Stephanie Lusk
Director, Marlene Yu Museum