DECEPTIVELY SIMPLE: Pouran Jinchi, Il Lee, Richard Tsao

When 29 Sep 2015 - 21 Nov 2015
434 Greenwich Street, Ground Floor
New York,, NY 10013
United States
Enquiry (212) 343-2599

Artists Reception: Wednesday, October 28, 6-8pm

Art Projects International is pleased to present Deceptively Simple featuring rarely-seen reductive works by Pouran Jinchi, Il Lee and Richard Tsao. These works, most of them exhibited for the first time, include monochromatic paintings by Pouran Jinchi; hard-edge works by Il Lee; and “Round” series works by Richard Tsao. In limited series, the artists have explored specific interests, and the viewer—by viewing a repeated symbol in a color field; a single, silhouetted shape; or two vibrating colors paired—has a chance to see the artists’ thinking. At first glance these works may seem to exist outside the artists’ usual production, but these investigations of symbol, form, and color are focused experiments that reveal how elemental concerns are manifested in the artists’ broader explorations of abstraction and artistic identity.

Pouran Jinchi is known for work that uses letters of the Farsi alphabet as drawing elements. The renderings and paintings are often multi-hued and lyrical. Monochromatic paintings like Virgool and Saaken, both of 2004, are devoid of her calligraphic brushwork but further the same line of investigation—of communicating beyond language by recontextualizing symbols. Virgool presents repeated renderings of just one linguistic symbol, Saaken of another. The “saaken” is a symbol that indicates silence, and silences in language, like reduced palettes and simplified forms in painting, add meaning.

Well known for his ballpoint pen works on canvas and on paper, Il Lee usually leaves visible multitudes of ballpoint pen lines as he defines space and form. In certain works from 1996, like Untitled 2696, the medium is hidden, but not completely. From a distance the clean-edged, simplified shapes could have been cut from heavy paper; Lee does not make obvious the sophisticated interplay between ballpoint ink lines and the results of their accretion. However, the viewer can, by looking closely at works like Untitled 2496 (a quirky rectangle huddled at the bottom of the paper), see how Lee has captured within the form the same complex ordering of lines as exist in his signature works.

Richard Tsao’s “Round” series monotypes of the 1990s are circles, discs of color, which do not seem fixed in the physical world. Round 71 appears to contain ghosts of rumpled blue violet cloth. In Round 46, a solid purple circle’s edge flares into deep and light orange. Round 3, by comparison, is an unvariegated, dark red form, but upon inspection, it begins to jitter like the sun viewed with the naked eye. These superb monotypes take full advantage of the possibilities of transferring an oil painting onto paper. In Tsao’s paintings on canvas (many-layered works created in Tsao’s specially designed paint flood-room), the physicality of brilliantly colored paint also becomes architecture; in contrast, these “Round” works are the distillation of the spirit of color.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated brochure with an essay by Erik Bakke.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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