Crossing Art Gallery is honored to present Marlene Tseng Yu: Forces of Nature. Tseng Yu’s paintings fuse traditional Chinese painting techniques with tempestuous fields of color resulting in harmonious abstractions. Influenced by the temperaments and moods of the natural world Tseng Yu’s visions manifest themselves on larger than life canvases enveloping the viewer and overwhelming the soul.
Forces of Nature presents a retrospect of work dating back to some of Tseng Yu’s first explorations from 1966 to the new compositions of 2008. Consuming the exhibition space, and everyone who stands in front of it, is the arrival of the painting Water – One of Four Elements of Life. Standing 8 feet tall and spanning 32 feet wide, this magnificent painting has traveled from the Las Vegas Art Museum and the National Gallery in Prague to occupy the walls of Crossing Art Gallery in New York. Also on view are a wide range of works on paper and smaller paintings that seamlessly unfold her more intimate meditations on nature. Tseng Yu fearlessly pushes the boundaries of landscape painting in both the western and eastern stylistic traditions. Her unique technical combinations of landscape and abstractions are enhanced by her dynamic relationship with the natural world.
In the wake of catastrophic natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and the Wenchuan earthquake in China, to the human depletion of natural resources and the ever growing problem of pollution, Tseng Yu’s Forces of Natureseems even more potent and telling today than ever before. Tseng Yu is an artist far ahead of her time. Since her 1969 interview with Barbara Walters on the Today Show, Tseng Yu has described her work as a, “calling for appreciation and awareness of what needs to be done to preserve our environment”. Her deep adoration of the natural world led Tseng Yu to found the Rainforest Art Foundation in 2001. Through international art exhibitions, its goal is to generate awareness of the environmental green movement and “stimulate further preservation” of the world’s deteriorating Rainforests. Through her dominating themes of nature, Tseng Yu asks us to take a second look at the natural world we take for granted. Through this historical exhibition we are confronted with the human confliction of being aware of our limitations against the forces of nature while recognizing our power to take action against the subsequent human destruction of it.
Marlene Tseng Yu: Forces of Nature is curated by Luchia Meihua Lee. She has curated numerous exhibitions and events internationally.