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Matthew Wong: Blue
Text by Brad Phillips.
Luminous nocturnal paintings from acclaimed painter Matthew Wong’s final exhibition
This volume compiles oil and gouaches by the self-taught Canadian painter Matthew Wong (1984–2019) developed for his 2019 solo exhibition Matthew Wong: Blue at Karma Gallery in New York. The dusky and nocturnal scenes were intended as the coda to a previous series of day-lit oil and gouache paintings. All share a watery treatment, awash in blue and its proximal colors. For this body of work, completed over the past year of his life, Wong concerned himself with the “blueness of blue”: its fluidity, its affect, and its uncanny ability to “activate nostalgia, both personal and collective.”
With the sensibility of a flaneur, Wong’s semi-fictional subject matter refers to the sights he witnessed on walks while traveling in Sicily with his mother during the fall of 2018 and winter of 2019. The fully illustrated catalog is introduced with a short story titled 1996–2001, 2020, n.d., by Brad Phillips.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Matthew Wong: Blue.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
A rising art-world star, Wong planned his exhibition Blue before his suicide in October. The show reveals a marked tension between beauty and melancholy, making it difficult at times to keep his biography and work separate.
New York Times
A posthumous show by one of the most talented painters of his generation reveals a “visionary fusion of form and feeling."
[Wong] presents a sensitive meditation on the color’s melancholy cast...[this] inventive way of seeing brings an eerie dynamism to placid landscapes. The mental domain on vivid display in these works is rich in feeling, profound in its concentration. Wong understood and painted what Emily Dickinson called the “zero at the bone.”
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/20/2019
The small gouache Untitled (2018) is reproduced from Matthew Wong: Blue, the new release from Karma, published to accompany the gallery's current posthumous exhibition of Wong's work. Planned with the artist before his death in October of this year, both the book and the exhibition reveal "a marked tension between beauty and melancholy," according to Hyperallergic reviewer, Julia Friedman. "Melancholy is the most pronounced psychology in Blue, perhaps because of the colloquial meaning of the title, Wong’s recent suicide, and the subsequent press coverage which described his lifelong struggle with depression. Yet Karma is careful not to inject additional pathos into this exhibition’s presentation… However, as a viewer it’s hard to keep the artist’s biography and work separate. This is particularly true of the small gouache works, which lack the drama of the larger canvases and feel more sadly intimate: moonlight shining onto an empty bed seems to suggest absence after death; a curtain blowing to the side evokes a spirit passing; even icebergs, floating in a serene sea, project an icy loneliness." continue to blog
DELMONICO BOOKS/ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO
USD $40.00 | CAN $54.5 UK £ 32
Pub Date: 11/2/2021
Active | In stock
KARMA BOOKS, NEW YORK
USD $35.00 | CAN $49 UK £ 30
Pub Date: 11/10/2020
Active | In stock