Paper and Process
Richard Tsao, Gwenn Thomas, Il Lee, Alexandra do Carmo and Theresa Chong
The disparate works on paper by the five artists in Paper and Process are a vital reflection of the rich pluralism of today’s contemporary art world. The exhibition offers conceptual investigations, studies of abstract line and form, and imagery as diverse as dinosaurs and floral patterns. The works are the result of a range of activity from simply applying ink to paper with pen, to digital processes, to unorthodox approaches to printing.
Richard Tsao shows for the first time in the U. S. examples from his Portrait series as well as his new Spaceship series of monoprints. In Portraits, photographically derived images of people, sometimes barely visible and other times more strongly colored, are contrasted with images borrowed from a variety of sources including historic Chinese stone inscriptions of gods or imprints of leaves. In Spaceships, bright blocks of bleeding color are applied over and against linear patterns of orchids. Tsao uses the press as a tool, like a brush for painting, to create studied variations on a theme.
Gwenn Thomas has created several new series of prints and works on paper that relate to her signature works on canvas. These dynamic, masterful orchestrations of abstract forms and marks—drawn rectangles of solid color, silhouettes of cut bits of cloth, depictions of paint strokes or a wayward bit of newsprint—are realized by hands-on manipulation of printing plates, generating digital prints, and drawing with ink.
Il Lee uses ballpoint pens to create—out of thousands of tangled lines—solid, mountainous forms and series of line-enmeshed shapes. Lee draws vigorously and with incisive focus. His rigorous process, hidden by the freedom of the mark-making, allows the viewer to retrace the history of each line and better understand the creation of the complex forms and multiple effects. With fidelity to his ballpoint pen medium, Lee makes intimate drawings as well as large works with monumental presence.
Alexandra do Carmo wields a 005 Sakura pen to create drawings that are variations of a single image of a Tyrannosaurus rex from a children’s book. Isolated or floating across the paper, faint to ghostly-faint, red-brown, pointillistic renderings of T-Rex’s head, or parts of the head, repeat, creating ethereal landscapes that belie the fierceness of their progenitors.
Theresa Chong’s drawings with their dark grounds and multitudes of tiny white squares connected by fine lines are elegantly abstract, lyrically diagrammatic. On a computer, she makes layered compositions that she then enhances and translates by hand onto Japanese handmade paper. Maps without destinations, these constellations in gouache and pencil of finely rendered form and line have a luxuriant intelligence.
Richard Tsao, born in Bangkok, came to New York from Thailand in 1976. He lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include: Portraits, 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand (2004); The Inverse Mirror, curated by Paul Laster, Chambers Fine Art, New York, NY (2003); and Paintings, Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY. His solo exhibition Paintings and Works on Paper at the Queens Museum (Bulova), NY was curated by Jane Farver and Christina Yang.
Gwenn Thomas, born in Rhode Island, studied at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York and at the Sorbonne in Paris. She lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include: Multiple Encounters, Indira Gandhi National Center of the Arts, New Delhi, India (2004); The Michael Hoffman Tribute Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (2004); Gwenn Thomas, New Arts Program Exhibition Space, Kutztown, PA (2004); Gwenn Thomas: Recent Work, Art Projects International, New York, NY (2002); Gwenn Thomas, Galerie Hafemann, Weisbaden, Germany (2001).
Il Lee, born in Korea, studied in Seoul and New York, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Recent exhibitions include: Open House: Working in Brooklyn, curated by Charlotta Kotik, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY (2004) and Il Lee: New Drawings and Paintings, Art Projects International, New York, NY (2004). His latest new works are on view in NextNext Art at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), curated by Dan Cameron, Senior Curator of the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
Alexandra do Carmo, born in Portugal, now lives and works in New York and is currently participating in the Whitney Independent Study Program. Recent exhibitions include: Wild M5, Sala do Veado, Nacional Natural History Museum, Lisbon, Portugal (2004); Micron 005 performance, Lugar Comum-Fabrica da Polvora, Barcarena Portugal (2004); Micron 005, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, NY (2002).
Theresa Chong born in Seoul, Korea, lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include: New Works on Paper, Danese, New York, NY (2003); Young & Brash & Abstract, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2002); Finely Drawn: A Recent Gift of Contemporary Drawings, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC (2001); and The Draftsman’s Colors: 14 New Acquisitions from Johns to Chong, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2001).
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