Gallery: Artspace K
Artist(s): Liu Yang
Opening / Event Date: 24 Feb, 2022
Closing / End Date: 3 Jul, 2022
Over the Influence is pleased to premier Chromatic, an exhibition of new paintings by New York artist Caroline Larsen. This is the artist’s first comprehensive presentation with the gallery and her first solo in Hong Kong.
Chromatic features lavish flower bouquets and decorated vases, each set within sensational and psychedelic backgrounds. In this series of still-lives, Larsen continues with her signature style of “icing” her canvases by squeezing paint from a bag, and meticulously piping and layering the rich juicy pigments in these elaborate and compositions. Larsen further attunes elements of pattern, decoration, and the ornamental, with a keen focus on color and its ability to impart feeling. As such, Larsen’s intention with the works in Chromatic is a cohesive presentation that is unpretentious and approachable to all, and that brings the viewer joy upon viewing — a body of work that is beautiful for the sake of being beautiful.
Larsen’s latticed surfaces create opulent textures that reference textile, craft, and embroidery. The psychedelic and prismatic qualities are exemplified in Quantum, the only painting in the exhibition absent of landscape or object and comprised of pure pattern. Like the houndstooth backgrounds seen in the other paintings of Chromatic, the two-color repeated pattern of abstract four-sided shapes are equally trippy as they are evocative of fabrics, something new the artist is exploring in her work.
Set upon these woven grounds, the vases in Larsen’s work broadly reference the overglaze and decorative techniques that became widely known after 1925 in Longwy, France and have since been characterized as “Art Deco.” More specific references may be seen in Ships Ahoy! Butterfly Vessel, where Larsen re-contextualizes Vladimir Kush’s 2002 oil painting, “Departure of the Winged Ship,” offering volume and texture to this seascape, once mis-attributed to Salvador Dali. Akin to the Surrealist trope of the uncanny and unexpected, Larsen cleverly adorns her vase with Kush’s ship, another static vessel on a vessel.
In the tradition of still-life painting, the artist guides the view toward painterly qualities they deem important, while the flower as a subject signifies impermanence and brevity of existence. The still-life paintings in Chromatic exemplify Larsen’s specialized techniques that direct the viewer through the kaleidoscopic compositions, whose lush bouquets are to remain jovial, animated, and joyful.
Gallery: Whitestone Gallery
Opening / Event Date: 3 May, 2022
Closing / End Date: 30 Jun, 2022