Julia Chiang “Let Me In, Let Me Out”


poster for Julia Chiang “Let Me In, Let Me Out”

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The new works presented in Let Me In, Let Me Out exude a calm, relaxed cool. Not only do these paintings and ceramics continue to deploy her by now familiar teardrop shaped vocabulary, but they express a tranquil sensibility that has spanned her artistic life.

This tone is in part due to the fundamental simplicity from which Chiang’s works are generated. Each composition is derived from a simple hand-painted teardrop form that is consistent in shape but varies in size. Depending on how the form is applied, it can evoke a drip, a leaf, a petal, or a tear.

Like particles of potential energy, the drops accumulate to produce interlocking patterns that cover the surfaces in expansive fields that evoke a rain shower, a forest, a bed of flowers, a star burst, or a swirling eddy. In several paintings the form creates a dense thicket reminiscent of leaves and rain. Yet depending on Chiang’s color choices, the motif transforms to engender unique atmospheres with distinct character. In Come On Come On, the combination of vivid pink, red and white glow like light cast down through a forest canopy that makes raindrops glisten and leaves flicker. In Just Keep Going, the white and pink set against a blue background are more icy and wintery, whereas the earth tones used to compose The Same But Not produce a more muted, autumn-like effect.

In other paintings, the teardrop form suggests a more interior view of the human condition, one in which the body sweats, children’s tears flow, or a mother’s milk drips. In these works (i.e. More More More, Stretch Please, Almost), the drops pour downward to form vessel-shaped silhouettes whose interiors are filled with the fluid wood-grain pattern of the paintings’ unprimed support. They in turn echo the organic, animated shapes that comprise the collection of ceramic vases of Holding which yawn, heave, bend, lean and sway.

Seen together, Julia Chiang’s works offer a universe of possibilities. They portray microcosms and macrocosms; perspectives that often coexist in a single work. But regardless if one is looking inward or outward, Chiang’s art gives us a glimpse of captured energy. Like Zeus holding a thunderbolt in his hand, the works presented in Let Me In, Let Me Out embody a boundless magnetic force field contained for the first time. — Kirby Gookin



from February 26, 2015 to April 18, 2015


Julia Chiang

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