On view June 29 – August 20, 2023
In Richard Tsao’s well-known flood room paintings on canvas and wood, his unrestrained use of color seems to appropriately present itself in just the right balance. He manipulates pure pigment with an alchemist’s instincts in an approach that leaves his work vibrantly colored. With pigment thoroughly encrusting the canvas or wood supports, and with sections of the encrustations sticking out well beyond the supports’ edges, Tsao’s works are less painted than accumulated—they may be years in the making.
Tsao’s Rectangle series of the 1990s does not seem fixed in the physical world. These superb monotypes take full advantage of the possibilities of transferring an oil painting onto paper. In Tsao’s paintings on canvas, the physicality of brilliantly colored paint also becomes architecture; in contrast, these Rectangle works are the distillation of the spirit of color.
These lushly layered abstract works are closely linked to Tsao’s signature vibrantly colored multi-layered flood room paintings that evoke the lush nature of his native Thailand. Those familiar with Tsao’s color saturated paintings will recognize his unrestrained use of color in Rectangle works and feel enlivened by the luminosity of the accumulated colors.
MoCA Westport’s Director of Exhibitions
About Richard Tsao
Born and raised in Bangkok, Richard Tsao moved to New York in 1976, where he currently lives and works. His 1995 breakout first solo exhibition in New York at the Queens Museum featured Tsao’s color saturated multi-layered paintings described as “chromatically opulent, process-intensive abstraction” by Holland Cotter who reviewed the show in The New York Times. Since the mid-1990s, Tsao has shown extensively in the United States and Asia. Recent solo exhibitions include: Richard Tsao: Green Acres, Art Projects International, New York (2021) and Richard Tsao: Monotypes, Art Projects International, New York (2020). His work is represented in major collections including the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection, and Montefiore Fine Art Collection, New York.