Foreign Terrain: The Paintings of Ying Li

April 2, 2014 | College of Staten Island

Nufenen Pass #2, 2013, 18

The Gallery of the College of Staten Island presents the recent paintings of the accomplished and celebrated painter Ying Li, from April 9 through May 14, 2014.

The exhibit’s title, “Foreign Terrain,” has a double meaning.

The title refers to the natural source of inspiration for Ying, such as the Alpine landscapes of Italy and Switzerland that she experienced during a recent residency at the Centro Incontri Umani Ascona, and it also refers to the transformation of her canvases into landscapes in their own right.

It is perhaps in the dynamic interaction of these two meanings rather than in their separation that one comes to appreciate how her vibrant, direct, alla prima (wet-in-wet) paintings bring to life the artistic equivalencies she seeks embedded within nature itself.

More than a reflection of, or competition with nature, Ying Li’s vital landscapes fearlessly produce foreign terrains that extract, clarify and ultimately translate nature using the artist’s semantic tool box of color, brushstroke, light and frame.

Her manner of plowing or “working” the terrain of her canvases keeps current the venerable tradition of such divergent artists as Vincent van Gogh, the late works by Winslow Homer, Milton Resnick and CSI’s own Pat Passlof, to name a few.

Her works together in the Gallery and explicated by Xico Greenwald’s brochure essay will stand as an art-affirming experience for artists and viewers alike.

Born in Beijing, China in 1951, Ying Li is a professor of Fine Arts and Departmental Chair at Haverford College, PA. After receiving her initial training in China she immigrated to the United States in 1983, where she earned her M.F.A. from Parsons School of Design in New York in 1987.  She has been awarded numerous grants and residencies and her work has been extensively exhibited in both solo and group shows. She has received many outstanding reviews of her work, including several in the New York Times and Art in America.

There will be an opening reception Wednesday April 9th from 5:00-7:00 pm. The Gallery is located in the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, in the Willowbrook section of Staten Island. The College of Staten Island is a senior college of The City University of New York.