Review by John Yau at Hyperallergic

In Praise of Shadow, Color, and Light

“Xuan Chen likens the viewer’s experience of her painted constructions to ‘exploring a newly acquired digital device,’ but they have much more staying power than that.”

by John Yau

To read the full review, visit here

I am so honored to have works, currently exhibiting at George Adams Galleryin NYC, reviewed by John Yau at Hyperallergic

I find it is interesting that Yau compared my work with Florence Miller Pierce in the first sentence. Although I have never met Florence and did not list her as a direct influence, I am aware of her work. I read Florence Pierce: In Touch with Light by Lucy Lippard while finishing up my MFA at the University of New Mexico. Perhaps her influences were in my work without me knowing it. 

review of xuan chen by john yao hyperallergic george adams gallery chelsea nyc

 

 

Exhibitions in NYC and San Francisco Summer 2017

I am so thrilled to have my paintings exhibited in NYC and San Francisco this summer.

NYC, @George Adams Gallery in Chelsea from July 13 to August 18

This show exhibits a group of my small works made from 2013 to 2017. These works are from my concept of Light Space Intimacy. I really like how the works are presented in the gallery-thirteen paintings are hung on the walls of the gallery’s small side room, which “forces” viewers to closely examine the work, as the paintings are meant for the audiences to have a close relation with the art.

To read more about the show, visit here

xuan chen exhibition nyc george adams gallery

San Francisco, @Mirus Gallery from July 14 to August 13

Four paintings from Light Matter series are presented in an international group exhibition titled Nu Geometry at Mirus Gallery. It feels strange that my art work travel to the place where I started to learn art eleven years ago. It definitely brought back a lot of memories about the Bay Area and San Francisco. I remembered as an art student that one of my favorite social activities was the first Friday gallery hopping in San Francisco with my art classmates and friends from UC Berkeley.  We had so much fun, not only with the free drinks, but from the vibes and the young spirits.  I did not remember the numbers of galleries we visited and the miles we walked on the streets at midnight in San Francisco, but till today, I remember many artworks and names of artists, many of whom remain an inspiration for my art practice. Today, the majority of the friends are no longer artists and I doubt they would still go to art gallery hopping. But,  this summer,  my paintings are on the wall, feeling the young sparks on my behalf.

xuan chen exhibition mirus gallery san francisco

To read more about the show, visit here

Interview by Layla Leiman from ArtMaze Magazine in London

Studio Visit With Xuan Chen: BETWEEN 2D Illusion and 3D Complexity

Sneak peak into my studio and my art-making processes. Studio Visit interview by Layla Leiman.

Thanks to ArtMaze Magazine in London.

Light and color are the subjects of Xuan Chen’s abstract visual art. Drawing influence from the California Light and Space Movement and Color Field abstraction, her dazzling artworks exist between the parameters of 2D surfaces and 3D forms. Part paintings, part wall sculptures, Xuan’s artworks leap out at the viewer and invite closer inspection. Using bright, neon color palettes, thread, pooled layers of paint, geometric shapes and the interplay between negative and positive space, Xuan’s project-based work can be understood as an ongoing exploration of the myriad properties of light.

Named after the Chinese ink-brush Xuan paper, one might think that Xuan was always destined to be an artist. But that’s not how her story goes. Growing up in China before immigrating to the USA with her family, Xuan only started taking art classes while she was finishing up her engineering degree at UC Berkely. This background perhaps accounts for Xuan’s almost scientific approach to deconstructing visual elements into their core conceptual characteristics before refiguring them in her abstract works.

We were very happy to have the opportunity to catch up with Xuan and find out more about her creative process, her thoughts on color, light, and the New Mexican desert. Enjoy!
Read Full Interview Here.

Light Threads Series Featured in Art Blogs in London and Berlin

My small-scale wall sculptures from Light Space Intimacy are spotlighted in London based ArtMaze Magazine

To visit the full blog post, visit here

xuan chen featured in London based artmaze magzine
My wall-sculptures in Light Threads series are featured in kiosk of democracy, an art blog by Sascha Windolph in Berlin.
The blog is a platform in the internet about contemporary art,  photo and film. It reflects Sascha Windolph’s aesthetic and or ethical position, featuring more than ​​10​​​00 photographers and artists from all over the word. All contributions together are an collectiv cosmo cultur collection

To visit the full blog post, visit here

Light Threads by Xuan Chen Featured in German Art Blog

More about Light Threads Series

This series of paintings is part of my Light Space Intimacy concept, in which I make small-scale paintings and wall sculptures. These small-scale works devise an intimate connection between light, space, color and the viewer. Using various media such as embroidery thread, fluorescent paint or color transparencies, I create layered sculptures painted form digitally constructed images. The final forms lack traditional substrates in order to emphasize the physical complexity of the material themselves. The media are constructed on hard surfaces to further examine and challenge traditional painting materials and to emphasize the process of digital image-making. In the sculptures, spaces are constructed by digitally manipulating color and geometric shapes, as well as by physically bending or cutting the supporting structure; aura of light casts on the work itself or on the exhibition wall from the neon colors painted on the bended parts or on the reverse side of the work; or embroidery threads are wrapped on the pieces forming a glowing illusion as if they are tangible lights.

It is clear that these sculptures are influenced by the light and space movement, in which grandiose light installations often directly embed artificial light within objects or architecture, as demonstrated in works by Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Unlike Irwin and Turrell’s work in which the light itself often becomes the space and viewers feel the physical intensity that space can give, my small abstract sculptures are not about the power of space, but about the intimate relation between space and you, about the growing obsession with personalized digital gadgets, or perhaps, about our unrelenting love of beautifully designed objects. Thus, common motifs in my pieces include surprises of light, bright digital colors and welcoming geometric shapes. These spatial arrangements intend to encourage viewers to closely gaze at the work and examine it from different angles like exploring a newly acquired digital device.

Paintings Featured in Curators Selects at Art Palm Springs (Feb. 16-19, 2017)

My paintings from Empty and Full Series in Beyond Color Field concept were selected by Christopher Kennedy, whose curatorial work and products have captured the attention of such leading publications as Architectural Digest, Dwell Magazine, Elle Décor, Luxe Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times.

These paintings will be presented in Art Palm Springs by Richard Levy Gallery  (booth #105) from Feb. 16-19, 2017.

xuan chen paintigs featured in art palm springs

Empty and Full Series belongs my Beyond Color Theory concept. This concept is inspired by color field abstraction, pioneered in the 1950s by Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. Paintings created by these pioneers abandoned all representations of figuration and instead embraced the expression of solid color by applying it in large surface areas. When approaching the work, viewers feel the power of color fields, such as transparency, luminosity and interaction of colors in color theory. As mentioned in my introduction that I am interested in the the contingency between making two-dimensional digital images and making three-dimensional objects in space. In Beyond Color Field, I take the concept of color field further by creating textures that emphasize the 3D complexity in the physical space. In doing so, I have devised a unique process of painting by first pouring thick, drip-like shapes of paint onto plastic, individually peeling each paint drip from its base, digitally reconfiguring the colors and compositions of paint drips, and physically reconstructing them onto hard surfaces. This process is particularly inspired by the way in which substances, light and spaces are constructed in traditional Chinese landscape paintings. These paintings usually adopt a scattered perspective, making the composition more flexible and breaking the shackles of time and space. The space appears rhythmic in the process of perception intertwined between “no substance” and “substance”. “Substance” (Full) is realized by the physical substance of paint, in which rhythmic layers of thick paint-drips are meticulously puzzled together and “no substance” (Empty) by painting as a means of image making, in which thin layers of paint imitate the digital interaction of color such as transparency and luminosity.

Art Palm Springs is owned by Atlanta-based Urban Expositions, which produces Art Aspen, Art Hamptons, Houston Fine Art Fair, Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, and the Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago. All art fairs are presented by galleries from around the world exhibiting modern and contemporary art in a variety of media including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media.

Light Threads Spotlight in Major Art Blogs

My abstract wall sculptures from Light Threads series are featured in major art blog Booooooom and Trendland.

This series of paintings is part of my Light Space Intimacy concept, in which I make small-scale paintings and wall sculptures. These small-scale works devise an intimate connection between light, space, color and the viewer. Using various media such as embroidery thread, fluorescent paint or color transparencies, I create layered sculptures painted form digitally constructed images. The final forms lack traditional substrates in order to emphasize the physical complexity of the material themselves. The media are constructed on hard surfaces to further examine and challenge traditional painting materials and to emphasize the process of digital image-making. In the sculptures, spaces are constructed by digitally manipulating color and geometric shapes, as well as by physically bending or cutting the supporting structure; aura of light casts on the work itself or on the exhibition wall from the neon colors painted on the bended parts or on the reverse side of the work; or embroidery threads are wrapped on the pieces forming a glowing illusion as if they are tangible lights.

It is clear that these sculptures are influenced by the light and space movement, in which grandiose light installations often directly embed artificial light within objects or architecture, as demonstrated in works by Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Unlike Irwin and Turrell’s work in which the light itself often becomes the space and viewers feel the physical intensity that space can give, my small abstract sculptures are not about the power of space, but about the intimate relation between space and you, about the growing obsession with personalized digital gadgets, or perhaps, about our unrelenting love of beautifully designed objects. Thus, common motifs in my pieces include surprises of light, bright digital colors and welcoming geometric shapes. These spatial arrangements intend to encourage viewers to closely gaze at the work and examine it from different angles like exploring a newly acquired digital device.

xuan chen paintings spotlight in booooooom major art blog

wall sculptures by xuan chen featured in trendland

Abstract Painting “Screens” Won Young Painters Award

Abstract Painting titled “Screens” by Xuan Chen of Albuquerque, N.M., is the winner of the 2014 Miami University Young Painters Competition for the $10,000 William (Miami ’36) and Dorothy Yeck Award. This competition is sponsored by Miami’s Hiestand Galleries, College of Creative Arts, at Miami University.  It was juried by Timothy McDowell, Professor of Art at Connecticut College. Screens consist of nine iPad-sized abstract paintings, grouped in a 3×3 grid. Each panel 9″x11″ panel is made from oil and acrylic on wood.

Visit here to read the full press release.

See complete portfolio of Screens and Screens II.

Statement about my small scale abstract paintings:

My iPad-sized abstract painting/sculpture devises an intimate connection between light, space, color and the viewer. Using various media such as embroidery thread, fluorescent paint or color transparencies, I create layered sculptures painted form digitally constructed images. The final forms lack traditional substrates in order to emphasize the physical complexity of the material themselves. The media are constructed on hard surfaces to further examine and challenge traditional abstract painting materials and to emphasize the process of digital image-making. In the artwork, spaces are constructed by digitally manipulating color and geometric shapes, as well as by physically bending or cutting the supporting structure; aura of light casts on the work itself or on the exhibition wall from the neon colors painted on the bended parts or on the reverse side of the work; or embroidery threads are wrapped on the pieces forming a glowing illusion as if they are tangible lights.

It is clear that these sculptures are influenced by the light and space movement, in which grandiose light installations often directly embed artificial light within objects or architecture, as demonstrated in works by Robert Irwin and James Turrell. Unlike Irwin and Turrell’s work in which the light itself often becomes the space and viewers feel the physical intensity that space can give, my small abstract sculptures are not about the power of space, but about the intimate relation between space and you, about the growing obsession with personalized digital gadgets, or perhaps, about our unrelenting love of beautifully designed objects. Thus, common motifs in my pieces include surprises of light, bright digital colors and welcoming geometric shapes. These spatial arrangements intend to encourage viewers to closely gaze at the work and examine it from different angles like exploring a newly acquired digital device.

abstract painting screens grid by xuan chen oil acrylic wood panel colorful art

Paintings Featured in New American Paintings

My paintings from Edges Series are featured in the West Issue (#108) of New American Paintings.

I am so honored to be one of the 4o artists  from over 1200 submissions selected by Veronica Roberts, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.

Visit here to order or see more of this issue.

 

 

Artwork Featured in CulturalHall, Winter 2014

My works are featured in Issue 108 of CultureHall, a NYC-based, curated online resource for contemporary art.

The essay is written by David Andrew Frey, a New York-based artist, curator, and technologist.

Visit here to read the full issue.

Quoted from the issue:

“Layered, prismatic and idiosyncratically referential, Xuan Chen’s paintings from her series Screens negotiate the traditional cannon of abstraction while giving technology equal consideration. For each painting Xuan first creates simple forms in 3D software programs that are deconstructed through the manipulation of their base elements. Toying with but moving beyond the traditional concepts of the still life, each oil and acrylic work are in essence an interpreted duplicate of the first work, as the paintings on panel become the physical manifestation of a digital entity. Xuan’s original subject matter is constructed but ultimately intangible as it lives only as reference in the realm of the computer display.”