‘Half Half’ becomes whole in Andrew Kuo exhibition
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.