press release

Opening: Thur, March 15, 2007, 6 pm

The work of Anne Chu draws its inspiration for a wide range of artistic and historical sources, from cultural archetypes she transforms and reinvents, always using the materials in an experimental, surprising way. In this exhibition shows a new cycle of sculptures and monotypes. Some of the sculptures are ceramics: they are free representations of landscapes, with references to the mountains and Scholar’s Rocks of the Chinese tradition. Balanced between the figurative and the abstract, these sculptures are strangely elusive, as if the material from which they are made were in continuous transformation. Other sculptures are in silk thread and fabric, and represent birds; the surfaces are embroidered using a computerized system that makes the colors of the plumage iridescent. The sculptures are accompanied by monotypes on Chinese paper: unique prints from prepared plates, painted and drawn directly with ink, without etching or engraving. Anne Chu loves this technique “for the intensity of the color and the possibility to make wide areas of varied intensity (such as washes, pours, or solid color)”. These beautiful works on paper represent and combine rocks and birds. As a whole, the exhibition references the tradition of the Chinese garden, but also Ottoman and Arabic gardens, as well as those coming from the European tradition as seen in medieval miniatures and in “mille fleurs” tapestries and carpets.

Anne Chu mines the history of figuration across cultures and eras to create sculptures that evoke ritual, storytelling, and mythology. Her wide-ranging sources are employed more for their capacity to trigger the imagination than for their particular references. Chu carefully arranges her figures in groupings, achieving the overall effect of a timeless, placeless field of players primed to perform some enchanted narrative.

Her work is underpinned by a sophisticated and highly conceptual approach to form, content and color. Renowned for her ability to work with a variety media, in her practice Chu integrates wood, bronze, ceramic, resin and fabric in such a way that one medium is animated by another. Textiles take on the appearance of carvings; sculptures become painted canvases. She draws inspiration from wide-ranging sources, which although at times historically specific, are employed less for their iconographic meaning and more for the subject’s potential for unraveling broader artistic ideas. These new sculptures instigate a dynamic dissonance with regards to how we look at and understand two- and three-dimensional works.

Anne Chu lives and works in New York and is represented by the galleries 303 in New York, Donald Young in Chicago and Victoria Miro in London. In recent years her works have been shown in different museums, including the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Ohio, the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, in 1998, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Miami, Florida in 2005; in 2004 she participated in the “Carnegie International” in Pittsburgh. Her works are included in the collections of leading American museums, including MoCA Los Angeles and MoMA New York, and in some major European private collections, such as that of Charles Saatchi.

Anne Chu
Sculpture and Monotypes