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HSU KUOHUANG: Views of Taroko Gorge

HSU KUOHUANG: Views of Taroko Gorge

November 12, 2014 – January 31, 2014

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NEW YORK –– On November 12th, M. Sutherland Fine Art opens its fourth exhibition of extraordinary works on paper by the renowned artist Hsu Kuohaung (b.1950.)  On view will be a collection of sixteen new landscape paintings: framed and traditionally mounted as hanging scrolls.

The gallery’s relationship with Hsu goes back over 35 years, when Martha Sutherland met Hsu Kuohuang in a seminar on connoisseurship of the Four Great Yuan Masters at National Taiwan University, in 1979.  The seminar, a first of its kind, was taught by the leading expert in the field, Chiang Chaoshen, through studying original examples of paintings from the National Palace Museum collection.  For Hsu, it was just the beginning.  He learned not only the advanced skills of painting and calligraphy from Chiang but also profound connoisseurship of Chinese classical ink painting.

Hsu worked at the National Palace Museum for over 20 years where he continually studied the original masterpieces of Chinese painting in the former imperial collection.   At the same time, he painted his own works, and practiced calligraphy of all script varieties.  No one else practicing Chinese ink painting today has Hsu’s deep background and ability to transcend this context in his personal work.

Hsu Kuohuang’s fourth exhibition at M. Sutherland Fine Arts draws its inspiration from the breathtaking peaks and gorges of Taroko Gorge. After retiring from the Palace Museum, Hsu moved back to his wife’s hometown of Hualien, on the eastern coast of Taiwan, near the Taroko Gorge National Park.   Based on years of sketching and photographing on hikes in the park, Hsu has completed a series of paintings inspired by the rare, extreme views of the Taroko Gorge scenery.    The rushing blue-grey torrent of the river winds through a rocky gorge whose vertiginous angles seem to defy the laws of physics.

Hsu dramatizes the extreme landscape forms with cropped compositions and shimmering brushwork.   His painting style has grown more confident and experimental through the years, as in the series  “The Pen Follows Where the Mind Wanders,” where Hsu paints in abstract drip and drops.  These recent works display the inner strength and freshness of an artist at the pinnacle of his creative powers.  He is not afraid to lend ambiguity to rock and landscape elements to suspend reality in the scenery, thereby encouraging the viewer to linger over the virtuosity of his brushwork as abstract technique.  Students of Chinese painting history can see the links between Hsu and early 20th Century Shanghai School artists, back to Nanjing Eccentrics of the 18th Century, and then to Late Wu School masters.  The difference is, Hsu uses these traditions as a springboard from which he embraces a modern fantastic realm, but one with subtle classical and figurative references.  Hsu’s paintings don’t “shout” at the viewer, but deftly convey a reverence of Nature, in keeping with the artist’s strict Buddhist beliefs.

 

HSU KUOHUANG: Views of Taroko Gorge
November 12, 2014 – January 31, 2014

M. Sutherland Fine Art
55 East 80th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY  10075
(tel) 212-249-0428

 

EXHIBITION HOURS
Opening Week
Thursday, November 13, Noon – 5pm
Saturday, November 15, Noon – 5pm

Otherwise
Open by appointment