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Hai Tao’s “Look Forward to Peace”

By Uncategorized

We were asked to do a video pan across Hai Tao’s “Look Forward to Peace” hand scroll from 2012.  His delicate beats and anthropomorphic arches can be difficult to capture in jpg let alone the issue of capturing something as monumentally long and narrow as a hand scroll.

Hai Tao
Look Forward to Peace
ink on rice paper, hand scroll
12 x 97 1/2 inches

Hsia I-Fu, A Life in Ink (1925-2016) Opening and Catalog

By Announcement, Hsai I-Fu, openings, Uncategorized

Our Hsia I-Fu memorial exhibition opens this evening, if you’re in New York please stop by M. Sutherland Fine Arts between 6–8pm and join us in celebrating the life and work of this magnificent artist.

A fully illustrated exhibition catalog is available to view here in pdf:  Hsia I-Fu, A Life in Ink

The show will be up through November 17th, by appointment.

For further on the Exhibition: Hsia I-Fu, A Life in Ink

HSIA I-FU, A Life in Ink (1925–2016)

By Announcement, Hsai I-Fu, Press, Uncategorized

Hsia I-Fu: A Life in Ink (1925–2016)

September 28 – November 17, 2017


For Immediate Release —

On the first anniversary of the death of Hsia I-Fu (1925-2016), M. Sutherland Fine Arts has organized a retrospective show of paintings from the last 25 years of this masterful artist’s life.

Martha Sutherland met Hsia in Taiwan in the late 1990s through her graduate school professor, Chu Tsing Li. Although he had never traveled to the United States, the artist immediately welcomed the Mandarin-speaking gallerist and agreed to representation in the U.S. Opportunities for international recognition as a Chinese artist living in Taiwan were rare at the end of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, Hsia’s works can now be found in dozens of major collections in the United States, from teaching museums at Cornell, Princeton and Harvard, to museums and private collections across the Untied States.

Hsia was born in Shandong Province in the 1925 to an educated family . As a youth, he received private painting instruction in both bird and flower and landscape traditions. Even in his later years Hsia would laugh and remark that he owed his exacting, almost obsessionist painting style to the influence of his grandmother, an accomplished lacemaker. Hsia passed the strenuous qualifying exams to enter the prestigious Hangzhou Art Academy in 1947 but because of the political turbulence, he was forced to withdraw. In 1949, he escaped to Taiwan and started from scratch to build a new life in Taipei. He worked in advertising, photography, graphic design, and interior architecture until the late 1970s when he turned to painting full time.

Hsia’s paintings harken back to the monumental landscapes of the Sung masters, such as Li Cheng and Xu Daoning. Yet on careful examination, his brushwork and inkwash style reveal a clearly contemporary vision. His unique brush technique demands thousands of minute strokes over the course of days, and sometimes weeks, to construct massive, weighty rocks and mist-wrapped mountains. The rock forms have a sensuous, anthropomorphic quality with a high contrast of light and dark, more closely aligned to a Western concept of light and shadow. Hsia once remarked that he studied the masterworks of Nanjing 17th Century eccentric master, Gong Xian, in the collection of the National Palace Museum in Taipei. He tried to capture the essence of Gong is his own miniature landscapes and smaller album leaves, then moved up to table top and grand scale works. Hsia’s dense brushwork, whether in a monumental hanging scroll or a miniature album leaf, is unmatched by contemporary ink painters. Around 2007, Hsia turned to a new brush vocabulary of repetitive fine lines for grasses as a counterpoint to the weighty rocks.
Hsia never lost his delight in the natural world, especially the mountains and seascapes of his adopted home of Taiwan. He hiked in the mountains well into his eighties, making rough sketches to enlarge and embellish back in his studio. He and his wife were devout Buddhists who supported religious charities by donating their time and proceeds from painting sales.

A year before the artist’s death, Sutherland ventured to the port city of Keelung with Hsia and several other painters to see a contemporary painting exhibition. Although it was July and the heat and humidity were stifling, Hsia bounded up the stairs of the parking garage with joyful enthusiasm. Even at 90 years of age, Hsia had an infectious joie de vivre. His daughter, Summer Hsia, remembers that her father told the family several days before he died that he wasn’t leaving them forever—that he was simply “going traveling” and would be reunited with them someday soon. Each painting in this exhibition offers a glimpse of Hsia’s indomitable spirit.

[At top, DETAIL – Hsia I-Fu, “Taiwan Mountains”, 1999, Ink on Xuan paper, 69 x 98cm]

Yang Mian “New Paintings” – November through December 2016

By Announcement, Uncategorized, Yang Mian

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK – The paintings of Sichuan-based artist Yang Mian (born 1970) challenge the new world order of media and digitization as well as basic notions of Chinese painting tradition. Yang’s latest series, CMYK, now showing at M. Sutherland Fine Arts, questions the fundamental premise of visual perception. In this age of digital imagery, can one experience a reproduction of a great artwork in the same way as the original without any surrounding context? Further, can the Chinese literati painting ideals of reinterpreting and transcending the past be attained using material and techniques of our contemporary technological age?

The latest series of works now on exhibit at M. Sutherland Fine Arts are based on Chinese paintings masterpieces dating from the Tang through the Qing Dynasty. Yang pushes the notion of the subtle, imperceptible changes of digital photography and the Internet that separate the image from the original in ways that the viewer cannot discern. Using computer and painstaking manual techniques, Yang further distills the elements of the original image into a completely new artistic vocabulary. No matter the size, medium or condition of the originals, Yang Mian expertly equalizes the various media into acrylic on canvas. Instead of wall fresco, or ink and mineral pigments on paper or silk, Yang creates a parallel universe by hand and machine, thoroughly modern but distantly based on the older, familiar images.

Yang Mian was in the first class of students to return to the Sichuan Art Academy after the Cultural Revolution. Though trained in the “Beaux Arts” methodology, he quickly developed his own theoretical approaches to painting. From 1996 through 2007, Yang’s oil paintings questioned the changing standards of beauty in modern Chinese society, making pictures inspired by advertising and the cosmetics industry. M. Sutherland Fine Arts exhibited Yang Mian’s works in two shows at the gallery’s former space on East 80th Street.

The CMYK series began in 2000 when Yang Mian made an accidental discovery while preparing a lecture to a painting class at his alma mater. The only available image of Picasso’s Girl before a Mirror (1932), had substandard resolution, so when it was projected on the screen, the CMYK dots – (cyan, magenta, yellow and key black), “created a chaotic mess of magnified color pixels.” Yang was intrigued and started to think about how this effect could be used in his own paintings.

After several years of trial and error, Yang Mian developed a unique creative process, using technical and manual manipulation to produce his CMYK paintings. In multiple steps on the computer, Yang separates out each of the color pixels and edits the image so that no color dots overlap as in regular digital reproductions, making hundreds of thousands of dot placement decisions per painting. He starts with the black dots, then adds blue/cyan, then red, with yellow last. Finally, he cuts out stencils using a special computer printer for each color and then laboriously paints the canvas layer by layer. At times, Yang breaks down the shades of blue into three different tonalities so that there are three separate cyan stencils instead of one. The result is Yang’s personal interpretation: a unique image, seemingly so simple and mass produced but in reality a culmination of a multiple-week artistic endeavor singular in its complexity. In Yang Mian’s mind, his CMYK work is not a rejection of history but a reaction to and extension of Chinese literati tradition.

Yang Mian has exhibited in numerous academic solo and group shows throughout China, Asia and Europe, including several international Biennale exhibitions. Yang’s works are part of numerous renowned private and museum collections throughout the world, from the Sigg Collection in Switzerland to the DeYoung Museum of San Francisco. We are privileged to exhibit Yang Mian’s most recent CMYK paintings in New York from November 3- December 31, 2016.


Image at Top: CMYK – Ming Dynasty, Bodhisattva in Baoguo Temple in Pingwu


Yang Mian: New Works

Additional about the artist: Yang Mian


Exhibition Hours: November 3rd – 5th, 11am – 5pm
and through December by appointment.

M. Sutherland Fine Arts
7 E 74th Street, Third Floor, New York, NY
Tel. 212-249-0428 | Cel. 301-529-2531

(Detail) CMYK – Yuan Dynasty, Fang Congyi, Sailing in Wuyi, 2013

Scenes from a Grand Re-Opening…

By Fung Ming Chip, hsu kuohuang, Hung Hsien, Liang Quan, openings, Uncategorized

Last week brought us our inaugural exhibition for M. Sutherland Fine Arts at its new home on East 74th street.  On view are selections revisiting highlights from recent years including works by Fung Ming Chip, Hung Hsien, Hsu Kuohong and Liang Quan.

Thank you all for coming out and welcoming us to our new home!

The gallery will be open by appointment through the Summer.


By openings, Press, Uncategorized



THREE ARTISTS FROM VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE: Moe Spector, Ann Hayden and Barnaby Conrad

For Immediate release

What happens when three urban artists move to one of the last great, undeveloped spots on the East Coast and respond to the creatures of its forests and tide-swept beaches?

The natural beauty of the Eastern Shore of Virginia is our dirty little secret. Few people are aware of it as they hurtle down Highway 13, passing boarded-up service stations and abandoned farmhouses before crossing the sublime 20-mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the bustling naval port of Norfolk. But halfway down the highway is a small town with an Indian name, Nassawadox, which means “Between Two Waters”. Indeed, this narrow peninsula—10 miles wide at most—is flanked by the Chesapeake Bay to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. Fields of corn and soybeans give way to forests of pine and hardwoods, then to bayside creeks, seaside marshes, and uninhabited barrier islands with pristine beaches. This is not the Hamptons; there is a rough, sobering reality to living among the hardscrabble watermen and farmers who have worked the sea and land for generations.

The three artists showing in the “Between Two Waters” exhibition chose to move to the Eastern Shore after successful careers in art-related fields in big cities like New York, Miami and San Francisco. Now each artist’s creativity is sublimely connected to his/her natural surroundings. Maurice, “Moe” Spector creates sculpture from wood and stone, capturing the essence of a shell, bird or female figure in sensuous, semi-abstracted forms.  Ann Hayden paints wry almost abstract images of birds that are hauntingly beautiful. Barnaby Conrad’s brightly-colored paintings of crabs, owls, and fig trees from his seaside farm vibrate with animist power.

We are all creatures of our environment and of our past experiences; thus I take a view informed by my background in Chinese art history.  Chinese artists believe that a successful landscape brushed in ink has the ability to transport the viewer out of their immediate, urban environment into the pristine wilderness of the painted scene.  In this spirit, M. Sutherland Fine Arts invites the viewer to whiff the salt air, hear the seabirds’ call and experience the primeval stillness of the Eastern Shore of Virginia when you visit the gallery. The show remains up through January 9, 2016.


 Exhibition Hours: Nov 11-14, 11am-5pm. Otherwise by appointment.

[TOP, Left] Barnaby Conrad, “Chinese Rooster” , 2015, Oil on canvas, 15 x 10 1/2 inches

[TOP, Middle] Moe Spector, “Cone Shell” , 2015, Marble and black walnut, 18 x 13 x 8 inches

[TOP, Right] Ann Hayden, “We Come from a Military Family”, 2015, Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches


Between Two Waters Exhibition

Moe Spector

Ann Hayden

Barnaby Conrad

Asia Week New York

By Uncategorized

Save the date!  Asia Week New York is approaching, March 13–22.

M. Sutherland Fine Arts will be open:

March 14–15 Open House Weekend, Saturday–Sunday from 11–5pm

and March 16–21, Monday–Saturday from 12 Noon–5pm