This exhibition centers on two major suites of fifteen paintings, “Monk Time Suite” (2013) and “Buddha Plays Monk” (2012-2015), in which his particular language of abstraction takes new and unexpected turns inspired by sources as varied as the artist’s experiences in China and the music of Thelonious Monk. This exhibition, the first time these works have been shown publicly, makes use of the high walls of the UCCA Nave to display these groupings in massive grids, complemented by further recent works. Peter Wayne Lewis is professor of painting at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He lives and works between Beijing, Boston, and South Orange, New Jersey. His solo exhibition “Beijing Booster” was held at MOCA North Miami in 2015.
A presentation of pieces by Frederick J. Brown (1945-2012), another African-American painter with an interest in jazz music, and close ties to China, accompanies the exhibition. He worked in a loft in Soho during the New York Art Renaissance of the 1970s and 1980s. There, he collaborated with jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk and Anthony Braxton, and abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. Brown’s work is in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Brown was the first American artist to hold a solo exhibition at the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (now the National Museum of China) in the spring of 1988.