In Conversation: Works on Paper
In Conversation: Works on Paper by Victor Teng
OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, June 18 // Cinematheque Lobby Gallery // 5-7p
The exhibition In Conversation: Works on Paper, reveals a dialogical evolution of abstract figurative drawings by Santa Fe-based artist Victor Teng. Inspired by the spontaneity found in Chinese calligraphy, Teng layers gestural marks of ink and gauche on paper to create dynamic, enigmatic characters. Teng aims to “invite the audience into the individual dramas [of these figurative works], which at first glance project a chaotic frenzy, while closer attention reveals playfulness exhibited within brushstrokes and tonal gestures” (excerpted from the artist’s statement about the work).
In Conversation: Works on Paper highlights the progression of this lively body of work produced by Teng over the course of the last decade. What begins with a single figure occupying a white page then evolves into pairs, quartets, and up to eight characters with increasingly complex color palettes. The figures can be seen engaging in conversations of personality, movement, and form with their companions as well as with the viewer. Their personal dispositions develop from Teng’s observations on humanity, “conjuring [themes of] familiarity, intimacy, communication, secrets shared, secrets kept, silences that challenge the act of living socially, and keeping company with your past, both imaginary and real” (excerpted from the artist’s statement about the work).
About the Artist
Victor Teng, of Chinese ethnic background,was born in the Philippines. He received a BFA in painting from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied both painting and ceramics. Teng moved to New York City, where he attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School as a Max Beckman Scholar, and received his MFA at Hunter College.
For the past 40 years, Teng has been exhibiting work in both solo and group shows in NYC and surrounding areas. He has attended residencies at the Henry Street Settlement, Millay Colony for the Arts, and at the Manhattan Graphic Center for Printmaking. Through 2008, he primarily worked out of his painting studio in Chinatown, New York.
Teng’s move to Santa Fe in 2009 has allowed him to develop a new body of ink drawings, in addition to his continuation of work in painting and ceramics. Since living in Santa Fe, Teng’s work has been shown at Patina Gallery, in Axle Contemporary’s group exhibition at Peters Projects Art Gallery, and has been collected by New Mexico’s The Art in Public Places program.