AboutXiao-yang Li’s recent paintings carry a host of reference and association. A composite of graphic ability, exuberant colour, and painterly happenstance creates a particular approach to two and sometimes three-dimensional work that is both familiar and unique. Li studied graphic design, film-making and photography in both Beijing & London. Later, in London, when looking at work by Francis Bacon and Frank Auerbach, for instance, she had a change of heart and decided to study painting. A love for late Titian, or Piero Della Francesca, a constant love of Oskar Schlemmer for exactly the opposite and the same reasons represents the perennial painter’s pull between the painterly and graphic. Perhaps even more crucially, Li looks to Picabia, for ‘the way he keeps changing’ his transgressive graphic approach, painted modelling, and ability to influence and shape an anti-directional, formal advance in Modernism.