About the Artist
Leon Yost is a professional documentary photographer who has worked as a location scout for the BBC and is published in Time-Life Books, American Photo, The New York Times and numerous other publications. He began documenting Native American rock art when he and his artist-wife, Erma Martin Yost, made their first tour through the Southwest in 1976. Now, after four decades they still make regular pilgrimages seeking new discoveries.
Yost has had 25 solo gallery exhibitions, and two solo museum exhibitions: the Jersey City Museum in 1979 and the San Diego Museum of Man in 1997. In 1986 he received a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship.
About the Work
America’s dry southwestern climate preserves countless rock art sites within its far-flung network of canyons, cliffs and caves. It’s a poetic domain of holy people and ceremonies inhabiting a magical land of earth and sky. Yost has documented Native art ranging from America’s oldest (10,500–14,800 years old) to a recent Navajo sand-painting created and then ritually destroyed as a necessary part of a healing ceremony in 1993.
Yost says, “After four decades taking in the wide vistas and following trails to hidden canyon repositories I still experience the thrill of discovery whenever I enter an ancient sacred site. My photographs are an attempt to capture some small portion of that mysteriously magical power.”
Ed McCormack, of ARTspeak magazine writes, “Yost brings an exquisitely refined pictorial sensibility to bear on the sacred sites he photographs, to imbue them with a haunting spiritual resonance.