For Untitled, Art: Online, Chambers Fine Art is pleased to present the work of four artists, GAMA, Guo Hongwei, Jenny Perlin, and Mary Simpson. Based in Berlin, Beijing, and New York, respectively, the artists nevertheless share a fascination with history and mythology, an interest that informs their creative process.
Born in Sichuan Province in 1982, Guo Hongwei graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing in 2002 and currently lives and works in Beijing. Widely admired for the superb technique of his watercolors, many based on botanical subjects, he has also produced a substantial body of work in unusual combinations of different oil pigments in his works on canvas. Guo has long been a devotee of Kuaishou, a video-sharing app wildly popular among young people in China. This past year, viewing himself as a researcher whose aim is to give as broad a view as possible of life in China during the pandemic, images found on the internet are used as the basis for what at first glance appear to be illusionistic compositions although Guo takes such liberties with the distribution of brushstrokes and the interplay of forms that the initial comfort zone is rapidly dispelled. Although deeply serious, Guo’s work is frequently leavened by his wry sense of humor, readily apparent in his treatment of China’s “national treasure.”
GAMA was born into a nomadic family in Mongolia in 1977 although after a short period of study at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, he moved to Germany where he completed his studies and still lives. In this new environment, where he was able to see European Old Master paintings and contemporary German art at first hand, he found parallels between the folk-lore and beliefs of his native country and the rich vein of fantasy in Germanic art. GAMA’s visual universe is based not on what he sees as in the case with Guo Hongwei but what he remembers and imagines. His aunt was a Shaman in Mongolia, and she used to tell him of the deer that led her into the ‘spirit world’; images of deer are often the subject of his canvases, which are also populated by gnomes and mushrooms, in colorful, otherworldly settings.
Jenny Perlin (b. 1970, Massachusetts) currently lives and works in New York. She received her BA from Brown University in Literature and Society, her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, and postgraduate studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York. Perlin’s work in film, video, installation and drawing emerges from interdisciplinary research in history, literature and linguistics. In a series of red, orange, and yellow oil stick works on paper, Perlin addresses philosopher Henri Bergson’s assertion of orange as ‘the component part’, a space of connection and sympathy with its component parts, red and yellow. Perception of orange is in reality a variety of shades – in turn Perlin has employed three different brands of cadmium orange (R&F, Windsor & Newton, Sennelier) in order to illustrate the breadth of our individual intuition. As in much of Perlin’s practice, these works on paper render visible cultural and historic factors that underlie scientific and linguistic systems and our perception of natural and built environments.
Mary Simpson was born in Anchorage, Alaska and currently lives in New York. She received an MFA from Columbia University in 2009 and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2010. Her work has shown the Seattle Art Museum and Boise Art Museum. Simpson’s paintings have long alluded to mythologies of ancient and contemporary culture, referencing human and natural forms through poetic abstractions. Inspired by historical symbolism and legend, she interweaves narrative with explorations of light, color and time—visually reinterpreting the “parody” of allegory. Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, her work began to address the unsettling political climate by focusing on themes of strength and beauty in the face of adversity. Works presented at Untitled include Atalanta and Leto, inspired by female figures in Greek mythology, that share an iconic simplicity in their structure and composition.