Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Trang Lê. There will be a reception for the artist Saturday, September 7, 4-7 PM.
In her third solo exhibition at the gallery, Trang Lê presents a series of paintings that draw on the combined influences of nature and personal experience. Throughout her work, Lê navigates an inner, personal space that translates a sense of connection and balance, turmoil and grace, intuition and calculation, in a range of painterly forms. As with previous series, Trang shifts between paintings that are broad and gestural, to ones that are built upon tight, meticulous mark-making. With this exhibition, she adds another, three-dimensional aspect to the show.
For this exhibition, Trang Lê's varied techniques merge under the simple theme of 'threads'. The most literal interpretation of the theme comes through in her three-dimensional pieces, in which two rows of nails are connected by multi-colored strands of string. The undulating pattern creates an Ombre effect, which from a distance reads as painterly gradations. In the paintings, Lê presents a series of canvases comprised of intricate linework. The delicate lines are massed into varying formations, which can be read alternately as marine life undulating in water, bundles of yarn mounding over one another, streaks of colored rain or watery horizons.
References to nature have been consistent throughout her career, but each body of work is spurred by personal ruminations, translated into obsessive mark-making. In a recent series, a tally of civilians lost in the Iraq war appeared as individual swirls of paint in a mesmerizing 56-foot long piece. Her current work delves into the intensely inward realm of personal toil. In a highly personal artist statement, it becomes clear the term 'thread', is about personal unraveling and pulling back together. As in her other works, the obsessive delineations and precise, rhythmic pounding of nails are cathartic acts. Yet, the devastation and psychological heaviness which prompts the work, translates into exceptionally weightless and ultimately beautiful work.