VAN CHANG

About Artist: The paintings of Van Chang are extremely meticulous and involve long periods of reworking and close attention to detail. His oil paintings have what appears to be a narrative orientation, but are not really trying to say anything. There is no story but what comes after painting. Titles such as “Castorp’s Magic and Mountain” or “Of That Cathedral is His Carapace” only hint at their content. Technically, he succeeds in making oil look like gouache or watercolor. Clearly these paintings are all about the process of painting. He seems to want to reveal things but basically is hiding them. He plays with painting’s essential concern with depth and flatness as he needs to mock or make jokes between perspectives. Van has said he doesn’t feel like he belongs to the art world. The “To learn is to unlearn, experience has taught me to forget and remember what I have always known.” While he does not critique art in general, his idea is “to progress the things you are doing, you need to regress to a former stage of yourself in order to advance. And needless to say, if you did not ‘progress’ at first, then the ‘regress’ would be a pointless act.” Van Chang lives and works in San Francisco. He received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997 when he had his first exhibition with Don Soker Contemporary Art. His second solo exhibition at the Gallery was in 2013. He is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

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