Calligrapher and painter Hassan Massoudy and painter Miya Ando both use rich, vibrant red in their artworks. Ando’s Ephemeral Deep Red (2014) is a nearly monochromatic field with a spare horizon line, appearing like an abstract landscape. It has a rich, allusive tone that is fleetingly ephemeral—and sensational. Massoudy’s painting, Untitled (Earth does not belong to man; it is man who belongs to the earth.) (2012) incorporates Arabic calligraphy in garnet red. “Arabic calligraphy is something that exists inside of me,” says Massoudy, “it’s something that I’ve loved since I was a child.” His emotional connection to his work and to its ecological message is underscored by the lyrical brushmarks and affective script.
Edward Burtynsky, who documents the effects of industrial development on the planet, shows two photographs at the booth. Rice Terraces #5, Western Yunnan Province, China (2012) is a blue-gray and green aerial photo of farmland that produces grain for some of the nation’s nearly 1.4 billion citizens. It depicts the way that China’s food demands have bent its environment toward economic output rather than natural bounty. Canola Field, Luoping, Yunnan Province, China (2011) shows the production of rapeseed in enormous geometric fields, dotted with small cone-shaped hills and covered in fog. Its bright yellow picture plane complements Golnaz Fathi’s Untitled (2013), a quadriptych comprised of a dripping swath of bright yellow acrylic paint framed at the top and sides by a thick, smoky hash marks in black ink.
Kim Joon’s Bird Land-Aerosmith (2008) is a digital print of one young woman’s body and hands repeated in different overlapping configurations across the image’s surface. Each iteration of her body is seemingly tattooed with a stylized Japanese tree in purple, and her limbs are printed with a similar pattern in black. Both are accompanied by repetitions of the logo of the band Aerosmith. The black, purple, and pink skin move between states of representation, iconography, and abstraction.
All the artists showing here use color and form synchronously to approach subjects of visibility and representation, and to draw the viewer’s attention to important issues, both global and personal.
Visit Sundaram Tagore at Art Central 2015, Booth B5, Hong Kong, Mar. 14–16, 2015.
May 4–8, 2018, Park Avenue Armory