Monday, January 10, 2011

Location: Atop Turret Steps, Pygmalion-Second Floor



Richard Tsao is opening a new exhibition; here's the gallery press release:

Art Projects International
429 Greenwich Street, Suite 5B
New York, New York, 10013

Richard Tsao: Nam Wan at API
January 14 - February 18, 2011
Art Projects International

Art Projects International is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Richard Tsao's recent work. The exhibition will be on view from January 14 to February 18, 2011.

Richard Tsao’s paintings look to have been torn from nature at its most ecstatic. Immediately attractive with their brilliant harmonies and colors of the purest intensity, these works are obviously contemporary, yet they seem to come, rather than from the hurried now, from the earliest points of an ancient universe. Their brilliance cannot be tied to the commercial or pop; it speaks of geological and astral time. With pigment thoroughly encrusting the canvas or wood supports and with sections of the encrustations sticking out well beyond the supports’ edges, Tsao’s works are less painted than accumulated—they may be years in the making. And, as in nature, the works’ beauty also contains the hint of a warning—it could signify deliciousness or, maybe, poison or acid.

Tsao’s titles emphasize associations with nature and the ambiguous territory the works inhabit as art. Freeze is a long yellow rectangle; a heavily clotted green and yellow left side becomes smoother and more yellow on the right. The matte, powdery surface and the brilliant canary/lemon yellow pose a puzzle, “what substance is it that is frozen?” Or, perhaps, more to the point, “where are we?” The cool colors of Avalanche might seem in harmony with associations of the event of falling ice and snow. The white splat on the surface of the painting is at first comforting in being normative as a known painting gesture and as an understandable metaphor tied to the title. But the matte white sits every so lightly on the surface and soon rich pigmentation—blues, greys, yellows, reds—peeking through; texture from silky to jagged; layer upon layer of material having either flowed into place or congealed into shape; and, further, an unpredictable shape and jagged edges, all, announce themselves as the larger subject. The white splash—reading clearly as an art historical gauntlet retrieved by Tsao and then re-thrown as a new painterly challenge—is understood as part of the work and an invitation to enter it.

We are all haunted by the colors of our childhood. A film from a particular era may bring on nostalgia purely because of its palette. Certain combinations of sensations may bring us back to specific moments in our past. Tsao, of Chinese descent, grew up in Thailand. He has from early on, and does, raise orchids. In New York when viewing Tsao’s color-drenched works it is not possible to imagine the mental landscape that he reviews in cataloguing his personal inventory of influences. The viewer sees, from the other side, a highly sophisticated craftsman conveying to the viewer a natural ordering, even if energetic and chaotic, of color and surface which in its deep inherent logic, again far from any but Tsao to decipher, offers not only outward, startling beauty but the beauty of the complexity of natural formation.

As one could get lost in the colorings and patterns of a mineral pool, Tsao’s work, which takes, as mentioned, extended periods of time to develop and is created by pooling and flowing pigments, allowing natural chance to have its say, can absorb all one’s attention just as unaltered objects torn from a beautiful world can. But, importantly, in the end, the viewer must come to the awareness that these exact works hanging exactly as they are cannot have come into being except through careful artistic deliberation—through choice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Susan H. Edwards.

About Richard Tsao
Richard Tsao, originally from Thailand, is known for using a process oriented, labor-intensive approach and particular aesthetic of beauty in creating his paintings and works on paper. His solo exhibitions include Art Link, Seoul; Chambers Fine Art, New York; 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok; and Queens Museum of Art (Bulova), New York. He has also exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including Paper and Process 2, Art Projects International, New York; Krungthep 226, Bangkok Art + Culture Center, Thailand; Different Ways of Seeing: The Expanding World of Abstraction, Noyes Museum of Art, New Jersey; and The Inverse Mirror, Chambers Fine Art, New York.

For more information contact Art Projects International at 212.343.2599.

Prov.: Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York

Sunday, January 09, 2011

"[]" (2000) PRINT (45/100) by MAX COLE
Location: Green Bedroom, Pygmalion-Second Floor


Max Cole has a new exhibition! Here's the gallery press release:

Haines Gallery
49 Geary Street Fifth Floor
San Francisco CA 94108
415.397.8114 art@hainesgallery.com

January 6 - February 12, 2011

Terra Firma: Paintings by Max Cole

Haines Gallery is pleased to announce its eighth exhibition for New York artist
Max Cole. Having refined her practice over a period of four decades, Cole has
earned a reputation as a premier practitioner of reductive painting with a consistently and highly recognizable aesthetic. Employing a subtle palette of black, white, and shades of grey, this new body of work includes a selection of gem-like
small-scale pieces as yet unseen here in San Francisco.

From a distance, Cole's works appear to be composed of simple bands of color.
But upon closer inspection, these horizontal bands reveal intricate patterns of short, vertical hatch marks consisting of alternating colors. What at first appears devoid of the human hand reveals itself as an accumulation of subtle imperfections. The stripes seem to vibrate, at one moment alluding to foggy horizons or waving fields of grain, and in the next falling flat on the canvas's surface. This allusion to landscape is befitting of an artist who was raised on the plains. Horizontal, unpopulated landscapes are as much a part of her visual lexicon as is Native American thought (Cole maintained a close relationship with her paternal Grandfather, who was half-Cherokee), and indeed, her works evolve from the ideal of
harmony with nature, which is at the heart of that culture.

Cole's work has been described as obsessive, but she prefers the term passionate, as it is self-determination rather than compulsion that urges her towards creation and completion. Cole does not rely on a preconceived plan; the work unfolds through time and rigorous process.

Prov.: Haines Gallery, San Francisco

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