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Tam Van Tran: Survival Skills

31 October – 5 December 2014

Opening reception: Thursday, 30 October, 6 to 8 pm*


Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Tam Van Tran. Exhibiting at the gallery for the fourth time, Tran’s latest works mark a departure from the obsessive process of earlier series.  Embracing the collision of opposites - addition and subtraction, miniaturization and expansiveness, natural and manmade, tranquility and chaos - Tran continues past conversations with inspired force.

Throughout his career, each body of Tran’s work has abstractly reflected on moments in his own history. In this new series, Tran shares elements of his experience of dislocation and struggle connected to his crossing by boat from Vietnam to the United States at the age of nine years.

Utilizing broad brushstrokes in basic, natural tones evoking sky and earth, Tran’s new works are frenzied, vibrant and electric.  Wide, muddy streaks on paper and canvas reference heavy, mammalian movement.  In place of the smooth, curved slicing seen in Tran’s earlier work, paper is now randomly ripped and walked on, hastily folded or crushed.  Handmade delicate glazed ceramic bottles, inspired by antiquity, perch in the drawings crags.  Surfaces are collaged in luminous silver leaf, zippers and burlap.

The reconfiguration and reinterpretation of materials in Tran’s work reminds viewers that the present is only one possible version of events, that reality is strongly influenced by ones own perceptions and prejudices.  Tran’s bold gestures connect to conflicts on a global level, they speak to the fundamental effects of struggle and violence and the optimistic beauty that can exist on the other side.

*complimentary valet parking

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