Richard Tsao has worked in a wide variety of media since settling in New York in 1976. He is interested in elemental processes and in the essence of materials, as illustrated by his using still and flowing water to create his pigment paintings and his ink works. His “Fallen Leaves” works of 2021/22 begin with Tsao collecting leaves off the streets of New York City in early autumn. Process is at the center of Tsao’s practice; his walking and collecting leaves and then transforming them into a paper collage which becomes an ink drawing and then a silkscreen are all as much part of the work as the black and white images on display. The leaves are in black silhouette and the carefully considered negative space is the white of the paper that outlines the leaves and defines the gaps between them. The viewer understands that the shifting balances of black and white is part of an orchestration considered by Tsao on his initial walks through the city streets. Whether the leaves fill the entirety of the space or are less densely arranged, one senses both the infinite variety of nature’s intelligent patterning and the artist’s hand at play.
RICHARD TSAO is well known for using a process oriented, labor intensive approach and particular aesthetic of beauty in creating his paintings and works on paper. Born and raised in Bangkok, Tsao moved to New York in 1976, where he currently lives and works. His 1995 solo exhibition in New York presented at the Queens Museum, was a breakout exhibition that featured Tsao’s compelling abstract “flood room” paintings and was favorably reviewed by Holland Cotter in The New York Times. The 1990s was a particularly active period for Tsao as an artist in New York, with his works appearing in numerous exhibitions and in print. Concurrent with his continuing development of his paintings, Tsao began experimenting with monotypes in the mid-1990s and several of his works on paper from both the Round and the Green Acres series attracted the attention of the collector Wynn Kramarsky and became part of the Kramarsky Collection. Since the mid-1990s, Tsao has shown extensively in the United States and Asia. Recent solo exhibitions include: Richard Tsao: Green Acres, Art Projects International, New York (2021); Richard Tsao: Monotypes, Art Projects International, New York (2020); Richard Tsao: Works from Industry City, Art Projects International, New York (2014); Richard Tsao: Nam Wan, Art Projects International, New York (2010). His work is represented in major collections including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection, and Montefiore Fine Art Collection, New York.