November 6, 2011

Works by Victor Wang at the Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, Indiana

Luscious: New Works by Victor Wang 
Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, Indiana
November 12 - December 9, 2011

New works by the artist VICTOR WANG will be on view at the Evan Lurie Gallery in Carmel, near Indianapolis, in Indiana. The Evan Lurie Gallery is located at the heart of the Carmel Arts and Design District. Born in China, Victor (Sheng) Wang immigrating to the United States on 1987.

victor-wang  Victor Wang   A Golden Fich   Oil and Collage on Canvas
Image Courtesy of Evan Lurie Gallery, Carmel, IN

Victor Wang's work is multilayered, in more than one sense of the word.  At first glance, his paintings present as stunning portraits that exemplify technical mastery in the tradition of Caravaggio, Titian, and Rembrandt, as well as an inherent understanding of light and shadow.  There is a spontaneous, sensual quality to the textural, almost sculptural application of paint to canvas. (Victor Wang cites the sculpture of Auguste Rodin as another classical influence.)  But below the surface lie hidden layers of both meaning and process. Starting with a blank canvas, he attaches images from Tang Dynasty paintings that he digitally photographs and prints.  Over this collage, he applies layers of freehand sketches, acrylic matte medium, and oil paint, leaving small areas of the undercollage visible only to the careful viewer.

The subject matter, too, incorporates levels of meaning, drawing symbolism from Victor Wang's own personal history to illustrate the human experience.  He is deeply inspired by his heritage and the events of his past: growing up in Northeast China, being sent to a mandatory labor camp in his youth during China's Cultural Revolution, immigrating to the United States on 1987 to start again from nothing, and ultimately finding success as an artist and professor at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri.  "For me, what I imagined of America and what actually was truly created a great gap, thus forming a battle between physical settlement and mental anxiety."  It is this emotional drama, Wang says, that he tries to display in his work.

One of the most consistent symbols to appear in his paintings is the sunflower, which for the artist evokes feelings of both joy and sorrow.  He recalls playing among the sunflowers he planted in his backyard as a child - a happy, carefree time.  Later, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the sunflower became a political symbol, representing the people of China following Mao the way flowers turn to follow the sun.  It was during this time, after his graduation from high school, when Wang was sent to a farm to do hard labor for almost three years as part of a mandatory "Reeducation Through Labor" program.  Performing grueling work in the sunflower fields, exposed to the elements and without the aid of equipment, another layer of meaning and memory was added to the symbol of the sunflower for Victor Wang.  "When I see them," he has said, "it brings me back to the past, which has many ups and downs.  Sunflowers truly represent and stir my emotions."

Combining his rich personal history, Art History, and a technique both classical and experimental in nature, Victor Wang's work has been exhibited widely across the country and internationally, and has won a number of awards for excellence.

victor_wang Victor Wang, Memoir of sunflower, 2009

On 2009, Victor Wang published Memoir of Sunflower. This book feature the artist's recent sunflower series paintings. To view sample pages of this book visit Victor Wang's website.

Evan Lurie Fine Art Gallery30 West Main Street
Carmel, IN 46032, USA

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