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Zen Incense
by Tao Dong Dong

Available at David Lawrence Gallery

  • Date: 2015
  • Type: Prints
  • Medium: Silkscreen
  • Edition size: 25
  • Sheet Size: 100 x 80 cm
  • Signed: Signed
  • Condition: Pristine
  • Price: Price on Application

Description — Click to read

Tao Dong Dong’s watery surfaces play with what we see, or think we see, by bringing up that basic argument in Western-style painting: is the picture a window or a mirror? Here, is it a window onto an object of adoration, or a mirror of a magnified (sense of) self? Tao poses that question with perfect clarity – by posing everything else with a slight lack of clarity. His exacting realist style isn’t what’s unclear; it’s how we see it, and how we see what it is he paints. Tao’s paintings, after all, are ghosts: what they depict is not what’s really there. Our eyes tell us those things are there, and our brains tell us what those things are. All that’s truly there, of course, is a pigmented medium applied to a support. But what we see are these instantly (or almost instantly) recognizable figures, and as soon as we recognize them, our knowledge of them, our feelings about them, and all our associations with them come to the fore. Tao’s paintings disappear into our minds and all these facts and sensations come pouring out. Under water, on the water, floating in some imaginary field of vision, these icons are finally insubstantial, no matter how clear Tao paints them. And they are also finally more real to us than our own daily existence, no matter how much Tao’s watery effects distort them. That’s where we’re fooled – or, in fact, we fool ourselves. Willingly. Painting is just a means to that end; Tao’s painting makes this clear. by Peter Frank

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