On Thursday November 3, 2011, Sonnabend Gallery will open an exhibition of 14 new paintings by Anh Duong
In these works of self-portraiture, Duong uses images of herself in varying poses – both clothed and unclothed – as staging grounds for an emotionally charged internal discourse on relationships and the power of “playing dress up.”
She has painted self-portraits on a daily basis as a form of diary, and her work suggests an ongoing personal narrative or a record of a psychological journey. The emotional and compositional center of these paintings – are her eyes. She gazes directly out of the paintings at the viewer with an inscrutable expression that could suggest uncertainty, vulnerability, longing or none of these – but always with an underlying resilience and power. Her face is blank and empty of affect, but there is a suggestion of raw emotion under this mask.
The paintings arise from interior emotions and auto-biographical moments, but the images do not represent literal memories. Instead the artist is playing a dialectical game with her mirror image, creating a space where emotions can be analyzed and processed in paint.
Duong writes: “In these self-portraits the subject is nothing in itself. What matters is all that can be said about life via the subject. Staring stripped bare in the mirror to forget myself. Painting that face over and over. One can be moved by the illusion that a blue creates when meeting an ochre. If one line could say everything I would like to stop there. I don’t want to describe things but reveal them. It is not about projecting an image but having access to a feeling. And I would hope that people looking at them will see passages of their own lives. These self-portraits are staring back at you saying ‘Can you truly see me?’ They are looking at themselves, jailed in their own reflection.”
The exhibition will continue through December.
Please contact the gallery for further information.