Most likely, without a second glance, you pass right by the local sidewalk cafe, a dilapidated truck, an empty lot, a row of brownstones. They are all everyday Brooklyn. But when seen through the eyes of local artist Ella Yang, time is slowed down, judgment is suspended, and a distilled image emerges. In her first solo show at 440 Gallery, Brooklyn Seen, Yang’s radiant, harmonious paintings offer a visual balm for the dissonance of data and images in our multi-media world. This exhibition features Yang’s signature intimate, light filled cityscapes of charming tree lined streets as well as the gritty industrial beauty of her Gowanus studio neighborhood.
In addition, the show includes a new series of paintings Yang began in 2011, which are inspired by the colors and patterns of water lilies in their reflective ponds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. After cataract surgery six months ago, Yang was overjoyed to rediscover the vivid light and luscious colors around her. She excitedly took up larger brushes and a couple of six feet tall canvases to capture the water lilies at a scale she had never attempted before. The results are stunning, and must be appreciated in person.
Ella Yang, a native New Yorker and second generation Korean-American, is mostly self-taught. She takes great pleasure in traditional methods of oil painting, especially in applying glazes, and she often works “en plein air,” i.e. on site with a portable easel. She states that her goal is “to find a simple way to capture the spirit of a scene at a particular instance. Inevitably the paintings become infused with my own wonder and delight at having discovered something – a pattern, a gesture, an angle of light – that is inherently pleasing. At best my paintings pay tribute to the abundant benefits of attentiveness.” This exhibit marks Yang’s ten-year anniversary of working and living in Brooklyn.
Yang shows her work at 440 Gallery and in solo and group exhibitions at other galleries in New York City and its environs. She also sells directly from her studio near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Her paintings are in private collections in the USA, as well as in Hong Kong, Italy, France, and Austria. In the summer of 2006, she spent a month at the internationally recognized artist residency program, the Vermont Studio Center. She is honored to be included in the book “100 New York Painters,” by C.M. Dantzic, which was published by Schiffer Books in 2006. Yang is a graduate of Yale College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Brooklyn Seen opens on Thursday, September 6, and runs through Sunday, October 14, 2012, at the 440 Gallery, located at 440 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, September 21, 6:00 – 9:00 PM.
The 440 Gallery is in Park Slope, convenient to the F, M, and R subways. The gallery is open Thursday and Friday, 4:00 – 7:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, or by appointment. Visit the gallery’s website, www.440gallery.com, for more information.