01.26 — 03.01.14
This body of intimately scaled paintings explores notions of control through depictions of the landscape that shift eerily into still lifes while addressing the history of representation, the pictorial language of photography, and the complex relationship between visual structures and meta-criticism. Contradictions fold into one another where illusions of individual control are continually challenged by suggestions of external forces, obscured within the paintings, exerting a haunting presence upon the subject. The psychological intensity is further heightened through the use of tonality reminiscent of the light and shadow found in the likes of Goya’s work. However, this light remains ambiguous as to its source and purpose. The categorical disorientation between the genres of landscape and still life recalls the pictorial shifts between the distance of aerial views and the closeness of the constructed environment, which in turn amputates the subject from any single location.
At times, the representations hover on the side of the banal and mundane through inactivity. Upon further inspection, forms and lines begin to mimic incisions and dissections, light becomes intrusive as it is constructive, and land is fragmented and isolated, repeatedly calling the stability of the depiction into question. If painting is often considered in reference to the frame, the frame in this case exists more as a petri dish, and the representations within the paintings function as literal and metaphorical surfaces for experimentation. However, any suggested situation is left ambiguous and uneasy.
(born 1978) Craig Yu has shown his paintings and drawings in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has had solo shows in Switzerland at Häusler Contemporary Zurich; in Chicago at devening projects + editions; in Hong Kong at the Goethe Institute Gallery and Art Scene China. His recent work was included as a part of the exhibition Little Dark Things at Häusler Contemporary Munch, and will be exhibited in solo exhibitions at devening project + editions, and Butler University in early 2014. Yu’s work has been shown internationally in Munich and in Zurich at Häusler Contemporary, in Sarajevo at the 22nd International Arts Festival and in New York at the Dorsky Gallery amongst many others. His work can be found in the collections of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in the Pinakothek Der Modern in Munich, Germany and the University of Gloucestershire, including numerous private collections in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He is a recipient of the Mortin Mickenberg/Martin Sosin Fellowship and was a nominee for the Edes prize. He has taught at the University of Illinois and Harold Washington College in Chicago as an adjunct professor. Craig Yu is represented by devening projects + editions in Chicago and Häusler Contemporary in Munich and Zurich.