AMM Critical review: Qiheng Liu, Recoding reality

By: Arts Management Magazine
Defying Gravity
Defying Gravity
NEW YORK - May 1, 2019 - PRLog -- Purity and precision are evident in the paintings of the artist Qiheng Liu. He is a visionary and a superb technician. The clarity of his style in his latest series of paintings displays the influence of the portraiture of Hans Holbein the Younger. Liu doesn't paint portraits, though. He takes pleasure in dismantling the idea of a portrait and reconstructing it, using his own code of images to invite the viewer into a secret sphere where playfulness and power balance each other as art comes into being.

The painter quite obviously takes pleasure in capturing certain exact elements from what is known as reality and then exploring the freedom that comes of placing them in a composition that challenges the known or the familiar. This is the approach of a truly original mind.

What is startling is that these are the efforts of a young artist. Only this year did Liu receive his first solo exhibit anywhere, in a Tribeca gallery, auspiciously enough. It certainly seems that a more mature artistic talent is being brought to bear. Then again, it is often that way with the good ones, who are fewer and farther between than one might imagine in a society that accepts the notion that excellence is decided by yelping and twittering on social media. Pure visual art never has been for the masses. Excellence reveals itself as extraordinary, always.

He may be an emerging artist, but he is emerging fully formed. These paintings are clear evidence of an artist who understands the absolute necessity of controlled self-expression, which is at the basis of any true artist's oeuvre.  One also cannot help but look forward and ask, "What's next?"

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