black and white projects

Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough: Lexicon 3D

October 6 – November 17, 2017
Reception Saturday, October 7, 6–10PM [RSVP]
Artmoji artist talk Sunday, November 12, 2–3:30PM

Black & White Projects, 2830 20th Street, Studio 105, SF

… artmoji?! …

Recent Press | Images (coming soon) | Artist website

Black & White Projects is pleased to present Lexicon 3D—a solo exhibition featuring a new series of works by San Francisco-based interdisciplinary artist Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough exploring the power of symbols to transcend language. The exhibition is on view at Black & White Projects, in San Francisco’s Mission district, October 6 through November 17, 2017. An artist reception will be hosted on Saturday, October 7, from 6 to 10PM at the gallery. For more information, visit

In the Lexicon series, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough considers the limitations of spoken language. Using familiar, yet abstract symbols as proxies for concepts or feelings, her compositions present open-ended, fluid narratives defined by the viewer’s personal associations and interpretations. Inspired in part by ancient pictographs, modern icons, Japanese cell phone novels, and the ubiquity of emoji as shorthand, Yarbrough’s symbols seek to add more nuanced, less binary elements to this ongoing conversation.

Lexicon I, II and III are made with laser-cut, colored acrylic pieces, hand-inlaid in white acrylic panel. For Lexicon 3D, Yarbrough expands into three dimensions, exploding the symbols into small-scale sculptures and large-scale installation made with wood, metal, sewn fabric, and acrylic.

The exhibition kicks off a project to translate Yarbrough’s symbols into a downloadable digital emoji pack: Artmoji, available in Spring 2018.

sfac_logoThe work in Lexicon 3D was created through the support of the San Francisco Arts Commission.

[Image: Lexicon 10 (from the Lexicon II series) (2016) Colored acrylic inlaid in white acrylic panel 30 x 40 x 1/8 inches]

About the Artist

Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough a multi-disciplinary visual artist with a background in sculpture, music and furniture making as well as exhibit development at The Exploratorium. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she received her MFA in Furniture Design from California College of the Arts in 2002. Her works explore language, cliche, pop culture, iconography, repetition, and design through a variety of media, including acrylic, tape, wood, metal, sound, and performance. She has been exhibited nationally and internationally including New Langton Arts, The Lab and Luggage Store in SF, Deitch Projects in NY, New Image Art in LA, Kunsthall Fridericianum in Germany, and The Hara Museum in Tokyo. She is the recipient of Arteles residency in Hämeenkyrö, Finland, and two San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grants. Mary Elizabeth lives and works in San Francisco, CA.


Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough in her San Francisco studio (2017) Photo by Megan O’Sullivan for Context (







One comment on “Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough: Lexicon 3D

  1. Pingback: artmoji? | black and white projects

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This entry was posted on September 20, 2017 by in Exhibitions and tagged , , .


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