Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, New York
Figuratively Speaking: Paintings by Katherine Hu Fan
Biography/Biology, 1997, acrylic, collection of the artist
In the new exhibition Figuratively Speaking: Paintings by Katherine Hu Fan, the human body serves both as a focus and a point of departure for social commentary in these mixed media, multi-paneled works. The exhibit, on view at The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers NY from Sep 25, 1998 - Jan 17, 1999 as part of the Palisades Series, is sponsored by U.S. Trust Company of New York. Born in Shanghai, Hu Fan left China when she was 18 years old, after the Communist takeover. She received a Master's Degree from Stanford. Hu Fan is a long-time resident of Ossining· NY, and has exhibited her works at the Shanghai Museum and at various gaileries in the Metropolitan area.
Hu Fan's large scale works, vivid colors and bold brushwork, reflect the Western influence of Abstract Expressionism. The artist's giant canvases occupy a sphere between control and chaos, as seen in the work ofJackson Pollock. This style is seamlessly combined with her Eastern heritage, evident in the painted Chinese characters and rice paper collages. Hu Fan's paintings, however, represent more than the convergence of two different artistic styles or cultures. Her provocative paintings comment on myriad societal views, easily shifting from historical to contemporary references.
Viewers actually "read" her paintings which are
covered with graffiti revolving around a single word or idea such as food
and hunger in the work Nouns & Pronouns. Hu Fan's manipulation
of the English language gives words new twists and pause for thought.
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