August 2021 - Toronto ON
I went to the AGO, Art Gallery of Ontario, to see Matthew Wong's Blue View. Most people were here to see the Andy Warhol exhibit so I had the Blue rooms to myself for a while, plus with social distancing still in place, there are only a limited number of people allowed in a room at one time.
Expressing wonder and melancholy, Matthew Wong: Blue View is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the short-lived but brilliant career of Toronto-born Chinese-Canadian artist Matthew Wong. Featuring more than 40 paintings from the artist’s Blue Series, made between 2017 and 2019, the exhibition invites viewers into a world of imaginary nocturnal landscapes, brooding interiors and vibrant still life compositions.
Matthew Wong (b. Toronto, 1984 – d. Edmonton, 2019) was a self-taught painter. Over his brief but brilliant career, the artist was celebrated for his bravura paintings which evoke diverse art historical references and artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, Alex Katz and Peter Doig, among others. Wong was educated at The York School, Toronto, and received a degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA in photography from the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media. He found acclaim quickly after his works were included in group exhibitions in Hong Kong and China, and at Karma gallery in Amagansett, NY in 2016, in a show curated by Matthew Higgs. Along with his remarkable and rapid commercial success, Wong’s unique style has been lauded by prominent critics such as Roberta Smith of the The New York Times who called him “one of the most talented painters of his generation.”
His blues drew me in just as Monet's blues do. We had just seen Beyond Monet last week.
A Dream 2019
Look, the Moon
One of my favourites, Blue Night 2018
The Waiting Room