Possible Worlds

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Apertures, 2009 Oil On Canvas 12 X 15 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Tourell Gallery
Harvest, 2009 Pencil On Paper 8 1/2 X 8 1/2 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Tourell Gallery
Possible Worlds

49 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
February 1st, 2010 - February 27th, 2010
Opening: February 4th, 2010 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Closed as of April 2015


Toomey Tourell Fine Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition entitled “Possible Worlds” with James Kao.

Dates of Exhibition: February 1st – February 27th, 2010.
Reception with the artist: Thursday, February 4th from 5:30-7:30 PM.

The title of James Kao’s current exhibition is borrowed from philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s conception of “Possible Worlds” – that is, the facts of our world are tempered by an infinite number of alternative possibilities. Kao, a Chicago based painter, continues to develop his ongoing motif of oranges and tables, a still-life subject he has been working on for over six years. This newest body of work, however, departs significantly from pure observational painting — orange fruits are reduced to color spots, and the table’s presence is noted only in the form of each painting’s vignette. Kao has re-imagined his still-life objects as signs for an alternative language, as fantastic creatures, and as passages of light and dark. Moreover, he has expanded his tables beyond a landscape for oranges into imaginative worlds where only the non-rules of painting apply. Kao’s new paintings hover between still-life, portraits, landscapes, abstraction, symbols, and the fantastic.

“My paintings and drawings record direct and repeated observations. Each reiteration of similar motifs marks an increasing intimacy with the world and moves an observational practice closer to a private meditation. My comfort in familiar objects and their spaces manifests in an aging collection of citrus fruit-once-fresh oranges are now desiccated, discolored, misshapen, and hard to the touch; and my desire to escape the mundane impels me toward the uncanny. I sense an artistic responsibility to grasp, reprocess, and re-present our world. This is also my privilege.”

This is James Kao’s second exhibition with Toomey Tourell Fine Art.