Jenny Chen "The Beauty of Solitude"

Tenri Cultural Institute

poster for Jenny Chen "The Beauty of Solitude"

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Tenri Cultural Institute presents Jenny Chen: The Beauty of Solitude an exhibition of paintings, cast sculptures and video.

Chen’s grand expressionistic gestures are poetic discourses into the psyche informed by her powerful emotions and feelings. Her monumental panels recall those of the New York School in their size but also in that they are heroic efforts to bring about confrontation with the subconscious. She differs from them in that she’s not interested in offering us an indigenous art but rather an individual picture of her own psychological makeup and style. The art critic Robert C. Morgan wrote about her work as a combination of Eastern and Western painting philosophies and styles and associated it with Chinese ink painting and the New York School. Jonathan Goodman the Asianist critic about Chen’s painting says that although Chen uses acrylic paint which would ally her to a western aesthetic, she is balancing her means in order to express the position of a Chinese person living in New York. They are correct of course but the story of Chen is far from written, one can go on and on about her contributions.

The immediate impact that Chen’s work conveys through its grand gesture, rather than overturning it because of her delicate and multilayered effects, only serves to reinforce its power. The multiple layers in both her paintings and her cast works serve to neutralize space rendering it nefarious and temporal. It’s as if we were looking through many layers of glass upon which paint had been spilled. So that, each layer offers a different configuration when seen alone, but together acts in unison to present us with a palimpsest. Chen’s surfaces are not always smooth. Chen creates hills and valleys that often result in a type of webbing of brushstroke and spill. While Chen used to work with color her recent series utilizes black and white the tendency of Eastern ink painting. But one could also consider the use of black and white as a Western element if Ingres’ use of the grisaille technique is recalled. Facile characterizations aside, Chen is Protean as a master in her own right offering us her unique vision that invites us, the viewer, to share her personal realm. Chen produces installations with a series of media including painting, video and sculpture often repeating her sculptural pieces in site specific installations.



from December 01, 2008 to December 23, 2008

Opening Reception on 2008-12-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


Jenny Chen

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