‘Half Half’ be­comes whole in An­drew Kuo ex­hi­bi­tion

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion -

or char­ac­ters, ap­pear in the col­or­coded leg­end, align­ing with the var­i­ous hues in the paint­ing.


Un­der two head­ings — THE SHOW THEN / THE SHOW NOW, state­ments con­jure all of the la­tent ghosts of our joy and dread of hol­i­days and the jos­tled sit­u­a­tions of our selves as we nav­i­gate so­cial ex­pec­ta­tions and honesty.

A deep blue in THE SHOW THEN cat­e­gory is “Won­der­ing why we had to ac­tu­ally be there,” while deep rose is “Only car­ing about claim­ing we saw/did things.” In THE SHOW NOW, ex­pe­ri­ence and mem­ory is tem­pered, a lit­tle softer as a pale pink is “Ask­ing the next one to take its time get­ting here,” and rich vi­o­let is “Need­ing to see it to re­mem­ber it.”

The thing with ab­stract art is it has no story to tell. These paint­ings don't ei­ther, nec­es­sar­ily, but in the way that the pat­terns pass and dis­lodge each other, lines and spa­ces shift from one sig­ni­fier of mem­ory and feel­ing to an­other. It is like the pass­ing of time or moods. It is hard, at any one time, to say we are ex­clu­sively one emo­tion or an­other, caught in the em­brace of the present and with­out any hint of a past or an­cil­lary con­cerns ar­rest­ing our at­ten­tion.

These paint­ings gather to­gether jum­bles and bun­dles, in­her­ent to the artist who is adept at de­scrib­ing the un­der­ly­ing ten­sions, de­sires, delusions and in­ten­tions we all have through his ci­phers.

There is one paint­ing that is dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers. In the mid­dle of the front gallery is one smeary ab­stract paint­ing. It is a storm of strokes in vivid col­ors sim­i­lar to the other pieces, but un­reg­i­mented and ob­fus­cated. Over the top is a brush of white


that hangs like a cloud, its den­sity var­ied and bright. It brings a light­ness to the paint­ing, but it does not en­lighten. Rather, it con­ceals. As with its com­pan­ion pieces in the gallery, half is given, but the other half must be cho­sen.


Half Half: An­drew Kuo con­tin­ues through Sept. 23 at Green Gallery, 1500 N. Far­well Ave., Milwaukee.

By Kat Kneev­ers


The in­stal­la­tion con­tin­ues through Sept. 23 at Green Gallery in Milwaukee.

Richard Lorenz

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