Project Space- Postcard Paintings
As an evocative complement to Doyle’s exhibition, Phung Huynh’s show, Postcard Paintings (in the back gallery) offers a quirky but beautifully executed group of 15 intimate acrylic and oil paintings — each measuring 5 x 7 inches — that depict non-Western subject matter such as Chinese cherubs, lotus flowers, lucky fish and eastern silk textile patterns in complicated compositions of humor, horror, and delight.
As the title of her show suggests, Huynh’s small-scale works recall “ethnic” tchotchkes such as souvenir postcards that tourists often find and purchase in Chinatown. Her precious, painterly gems are conceptually multi-faceted, as they eschew any one fixed interpretation and question the notion of representation in terms of culture, politics and social stereotype.
Huynh — trained in the rigors of traditional western academic painting and influenced by 17th century Italian Baroque artists such Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi — tackles her work with a particular attention in investigating globalism and multiculturalism that are complex in structure. It is not a hybridity or of fusing many disparate phenomena into one universal gray culture. Her work avoids the simplified, binary model such as East versus West or Oriental versus Occidental juxtapositions.
Huynh currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Art Center College of Design (1997) and a master’s of fine art from New York University (2001). Her work has been displayed in numerous group exhibitions in Brooklyn, Connecticut, Manhattan and Los Angeles; she’s also had critical, solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery (Los Angeles), McCaig-Welles Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) and Sweeney Art Gallery (Riverside, CA). Her most recent projects include public art commissions from the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2 separate commissions) in Los Angeles.