Grey Matters


Art book published on the occasion of Shen Chen’s solo exhibition Grey Matters, held at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art from September 21st to November 21st, 2018.


This exhibition includes a selection of paintings in Shen Chen’s unique abstract, monochromatic style. Shen’s study of painting draws from both Eastern and Western culture and art-making techniques. His fully abstract paintings, which reference the aesthetics of minimalism, are a study of brushstroke, color, and tonality. To create his subtle umber surfaces, Shen paints with a wide variety of traditional Chinese brushes. Working with canvas on the studio floor, he layers the surface by moving progressively from top to bottom, in a vertical motion. The discrete horizontal lines visible on the surface are a record of where each vertical brushstroke began and stopped. It is this meticulous layering of color that achieves the resonant tonal hues of his paintings, which also manifests his rigorous discipline. The essay elaborates on these aspects of Shen Chen’s work and examines how the artist synthesizes traditional aesthetics of ink painting and concepts of Western contemporary art.

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