Julia Chiang ‘Spit Sweat Shhh’

Installation view ‘Spit Sweat Shhh’, The Modern Institute, Aird’s Lane Bricks Space, Glasgow, 2019
The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane Bricks Space

For her first exhibition at The Modern Institute, Brooklyn based artist Julia Chiang presents a grouping of vibrant new abstract paintings balanced across the distinctive architecture of Aird’s Lane Bricks space. Within this exposed setting, the repeating patterns of Chiang’s energised works coalesce, creating an environment that is at once serene and challenging.

Working with acrylic paint on panel, Chiang begins with a flat coloured ground, building shape and form through layers of nuanced gesture that push and pull in all directions. Whilst initially there appears to be a level of automation to Chiang’s cool, crisp surfaces, as one spends time with her work the discipline of their creation dissolves as the corporeal materiality of their construction becomes clear.

As if driven by a fraught search for uniformity, Chiang embraces the unattainability of this act as the painterly elements of chance and accident serve to energise her compositions. It is in these moments when the infallibility of the exterior is broken and the handmade qualities of production emerge, that Chiang’s subtle and dynamic surfaces reveal an emotive, psychological interior.

Julia Chiang (b. 1978 Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Selected solo exhibitions include: Tennis Elbow, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn (2018); Let Me In, Let Me Out, B2OA, New York (2015); Hanging In, Hanging On, New Museum Shop, New York (2014); That Side, This Side, No Side, Bill Brady KC, Kansas City (2013); Coming Together, Coming Apart, Nanzuka, Tokyo (2013); Forever And Longer, Colette, Paris (2012); Security Is Mostly A Superstition, Half Gallery, New York (2011); Forever, The Standard Miami Beach for Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach (2010); All For You, The Standard Shop, New York (2010) and Again and Again, Kantor / Feuer Window, New York (2007).

Recent group exhibitions include: Spring/Break Art Show, Skylight at Moynihan Station, New York (2015); They Sicken of the Calm Who Know the Storm, curated by Maureen Sullivan, Fridman Gallery, New York (2014); Spring/Break Art Show, Old School, New York (2013); It Ain’t Fair, OHWOW, Miami (2012); Americana, Grey Area, New York (2012); Autumn Place, Nanzuka, Tokyo (2012); East West Shift to the Middle, Bill Brady KC, Kansas City (2012); Figured, Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn (2012); January White Sale, curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody, Loretta Howard Gallery (2011); A Strange Affinity to the Beautiful and Dreadful, curated by Maureen Sullivan, Hendershot Gallery, New York (2011); It Ain’t Fair, OHWOW, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami (2010).

Julia Chiang’s latest solo exhibition at Nazuka, Tokyo opens later this year.