Shen Chen


Singer Museum of Art, Singer Laren, Netherlands
Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
Museum of Modert Art, Shanghai, China
Museum of Chinese in America, New York
Fortune 500 Company, Charlotte, NC, commission

Overlaying of strokes is an action of negating. I cover the paint with paint in order for a painting to dissolve the painting itself. Such dissolution is a long process that involves time and order, stretching from the beginning to the end. Through the very intimate process of ‘stroke-laying’, the artist thereby enters a void and dismisses all thinking. Such reflection of the inner spirit is a poem of a stream of consciousness. The strokes as artworks are but the remainder of the process and the trace of time and spirit. –Shen ChenShen Chen’s meticulous layering of color belies a rigorous discipline grounded in a meditation on breath. To create his subtle ombré surfaces, Chen works with the canvas on the studio floor. He layers the paint in precisely calibrated vertical brushstrokes; the discrete horizontal lines visible on the surface are a record of where each brushstroke – and attendant breath – ends. Of the latest body of work and his studio practice in general, American art critic Robert Morgan, who has studied Chen’s work for a decade, writes in the artist’s catalogue:In contrast to other important Chinese artists living or who have lived in New York, Chen functions solely as a painter. He is very clear about his position. He is committed to painting as a form that gives him space and time to do what he wants and to express what he needs (without necessarily being expressive)...He is...intent on working with the surface, using acrylic paint the way he was trained to use ink. (Robert C. Morgan, Paintings in Memory of Time and Infinity, 2014.)

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