“If your feet were anchored to the beach and the tide came in and covered your head, could you hold your breath until the tide went out again?”*
February 16 – March 24, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16, 6-8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is pleased to present the first solo exhibition at this gallery of Los Angeles-based artist Yuh-Shioh Wong (b. 1977, Taipei, Taiwan). Her mostly small format paintings – acrylic and aqua oil on raw canvas – materially concentrate experiences while perceptually expanding into physical as well as emotive space. These works translate the duration of nature, rather than depict it.
Wong’s paintings offer multiple, cumulative viewpoints – gazing into reflections in water, looking over hills at clouds, or walking through woods – which are absorbed into a continuum of movement of shapes, colors and forms. Her variety of marks – such as broad, watery washes; frequently calligraphic lines; and small, short dashes or dots – fuse into organic, idiosyncratic compositions, which are highly sensitive to the edges of the canvas. A primarily soft and bright palette contributes to an ephemeral atmosphere of colliding forces and fluidity.
In Tree Shadows, for example, we see the curvature of tree limbs becoming two areas of light. An indigo shade emerges as a central figure, displaced by an opaque streak of light blue coming from the background and reappearing towards the lower edge. What one expects to be solid is transparent, while light and shadow become tangible characters in the scene. In some respect, the abstract forms in this painting hint at Wong’s animistic relationship to nature.
The apparent simplicity and technique of her delicately complex, slowly made compositions disclose a meditative, beautiful wilderness.
Yuh-Shioh Wong transferred from pursuing a BA in Architecture at MIT to Harvard University, where she received a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies (1999). She earned her MFA from Hunter College (2003) and then attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo and project exhibitions at Foxy Production, NY (2006 & 2007), Cherry and Martin, LA (2008), ATM Gallery, NY (2004), and her work has been showcased in numerous group exhibitions, including such venues as 179 Canal, Exit Art, Gavin Brown, Storefront for Art and Architecture (all NY), as well as internationally at Charim Galerie, Vienna, and Micky Schubert, Berlin. At Thomas Erben, she was included in a three-person show in 2007. Reviews of her exhibitions have appeared in the New York Times, Flash Art, and The Brooklyn Rail. Wong currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
* Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, www.torreypine.org