NEW YORK, NY.-
The first New York exhibition of Chinese abstract expressionist Chen Cheng-Hsiung is on view at The Chelsea Art Museum
through December 31, 2009. More than 40 works spanning three decades will illustrate Chens exploration of the dazzling world of color and lyricism that elevates his paintings from the realm of the physical to the realm of the spiritual. The fully illustrated catalogue that accompanies the exhibition includes essays by Michael Sullivan and John T. Spike.
Born in 1935, Chen (aka Robert Chen), is the youngest of three Chinese painters who contributed to the history of abstract expressionism. Working independently, the triumvirate of Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-Chun, and Chen became abstract painters during the 1950s, and were represented at the Salon de Mai in Paris. Chen is the only one of the three, however, who never migrated to the West. Based in Taipei, he painted, wrote, and traveled; his work was exhibited Taiwan, China, Paris and, in recent years, Italy. Chen became internationally recognized and was the recipient of the Florence Biennales Lorenzo il Magnifico Career Achievement in the Arts Award in 1999 and 2001. His work was honored in 2003 with a 50 year retrospective in the National Museum of History, Taipei, and the National Museum of China, Beijing.
The spontaneous process of Chens expressions produces a unique signature, which is testament to his prolific efforts and lifelong investment in artistic exploration. In Chens own words, Every one of my paintings is done with the spontaneity that comes from unbroken meditation. As Dr. Spike writes in the catalogue, Chens color sense, poetic sensibility, and energetic brush technique are the three pillars of his work. Chen is composing pictures that weave the themes of his lifelong engagement with abstraction into a harmony of East and West, ideal and natural, abstract and traditional.