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Press Release

Exhibition:Trang T. Le, In Transition
Dates:10 September, 2016 through 15 October, 2016
Reception:Saturday, 10 September, 2016 — 4-7
Location:Ruth Bachofner Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite G2
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Trang T. Lê. There will be a reception for the artist Saturday, September 10, 4-6 PM.

Trang T. Lê's paintings and process are tied to a personal journey that follows an irregular course that spans early childhood to the present - the idyllic surroundings of her Vietnamese village, her experience as an immigrant fleeing the Vietnam war and the Communist regime of the 1980's, acclimating to a new country as a refugee and the numerous transitions in her recent past, are all distilled in the abstract paintings she has produced throughout her career as a painter. She has continuously and boldly drawn from her inner workings, while remaining keenly aware of and reacting to the world around her.

Lê's formal evolution with respect to marking-marking is intertwined with the personal narrative from which she draws. In 2010, the artist culminated a 56-foot long painting which honored and tallied civilian and soldier deaths of the Iraq war. The 111,978 tiny oil paint spirals she used as somber tally marks were gathered into a beautifully flowing composition. The piece was a rumination on human losses, as well as her own experiences with political conflict, but ultimately reflect on and radiate tranquility and healing. The conceptual underpinnings of this small mark made a dramatic shift in the matter of a couple years - from taking in the movements and details of a leaf in work produced in 2004, to an epic meditation on the consequences of war.

Her obsessive approach to painting continues to find new adaptations with this exhibition, where the spiral has unfurled and become tight loops and sinuous threads that float across the canvas. In this exhibition, Trang T. Lê's formal moves come together into single paintings where bold painterly smudging holds variously composed swirls and fibrous trails. With this combination comes a new dimensionality and grounding that retains the buoyancy of past work. Turmoil and grace, strength and vulnerability, intuition and calculation, gravity and weightlessness merge in these stirring paintings, where Trang finds strength and clarity. As has been the case with all her work, she gets lost in obsessive delineations which become cathartic acts, filtered through personal toil, joy, survival and triumphant transition.

Trang T. Lê received her MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2006. This exhibition is accompanied by a book titled Gentle Wave, that traces her personal journey and artistic evolution.

Preview Work