Mystery Reading

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Fan - 3 Expert - 11

stitching together with the clues

Responses (1)

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John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

January 07, 2022

Yuan Chen’s Mystery Reading’s delicate washes of soft colors culminate in a soothing and complex abstract composition. Blocks of color are stacked—stair-like—up the left side of the work, while others tumble down the center. The intentionality and care of each brushstroke create a pleasingly balanced picture that is rich and intricate but does not overwhelm with either color or form. This visual equilibrium is tremendously difficult to achieve with the density of blocks in the upper portion of the painting. By choosing such a harmonious palette and opening up the painting on the bottom, Chen makes the forms rhyme and never clash. One could very easily argue Mystery Reading is an entirely abstract work with little to no reference to the material world. However, there is something architectural about the stacked blocks of color, the way they extend into the upper reaches and appear like so many windows in a cityscape.

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Yuan Chen
Abstract, Abstraction
Painting - Unframed
Acrylic, Canvas
24.00 inches wide
30.00 inches tall
1.50 inches deep
8.00 lbs
San Rafael , CA, US