Fabrik

LAUNCH LA GALLERY

Xi Hou’s abstract paintings are redolent of nature, light, and their interaction. Composed of myriad fluid segments, lines and color areas that interlock like jigsaw puzzle pieces but are shaped like raindrops and aqueous reflections, these canvases embody the vitality of the natural world without seeking either to depict it directly or to reduce it to symbols.  Hou grounds her approach in a visual formula, using wandering lines—often “drawn” as raised edges on the canvas surface—to determine adjacent irregularly formed areas that contain contrasting colors. Hou frequently runs the same color across several discretely drawn areas: such discontinuity of patterning throws off the formulaic nature of her approach—emphasizing not so much her artistic intervention in nature as the apparently inconsistent but ultimately superior logic of nature itself.  As a result, what could otherwise have been (and may at first even seem like) a simplistic method of generating pretty images becomes an engagingly lyrical way of thinking about light and color, another coherent way of seeing the world. Hou devoted one wall of her exhibition to expressing her environmental concerns through more obvious references, even covering the wall with false grass; but the eloquence of her regard for nature rests squarely in her painting, scintillating and yet meditative as it is.

XI HOU AT LAUNCH LA; SOUNDS OF THE EARLY BIRDS BREAK THE FOG, 2010; 75” X 55”. ACRYLIC ON CANVAS.

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<p>Peter Frank is art critic for the Huffington Post and Associate Editor for Fabrik magazine. He is former critic for Angeleno magazine and the L.A. Weekly, served as Editor for THE magazine Los Angeles and Visions Art Quarterly, and contributes articles to publications around the world. Frank was born in 1950 in New York, where he was art critic for The Village Voice and The SoHo Weekly News, and moved to Los Angeles in 1988. Frank, who recently served as Senior Curator at the Riverside Art Museum, has organized numerous theme and survey shows for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Venice Biennale, Documenta, and other venues. McPherson & Co. -Documentext published his Something Else Press: An Annotated Bibliography in 1983. A cycle of poems, The Travelogues, was issued by Sun & Moon Press in 1982. Abbeville Press released New, Used & Improved, an overview of the New York art scene co-written with Michael McKenzie, in 1987.</p>

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