Comprised of a group of new paintings, the exhibition will be on view at 510 West 25th Street from March 11 to April 23, 2016. An opening reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Danielle Shang.
Qiu’s work is concerned with the expression of psychological and cultural forces through art, painting especially. The artist spent approximately the first decade of his career working in a representational style, painting objects from his personal and familial history to address his relationship with the past. Continuing to interrogate these same ideas, Qiu shifted to an abstract style circa 2012, exploring the potential of gestures, forms and colors to express the social subconscious.
In Double Pendulum, Qiu continues in this vein. Using palette knives, sprays guns, brushes, and other implements, Qiu creates improvisational works, reacting to and against drips, sprays and forms as they materialize on the canvas. His choice of acrylic paint—quicker drying than oils—forces him to work at a fast speed, which contributes to the looseness of his gestures and the negotiations between forms, suspending the paintings in an air of unresolved feeling. His process and speed are a means to translate his unconscious—which he construes as a repository for various cultural, social and political factors that have shaped him—onto the canvas, arriving at a purer form of self-expression untainted by rational thinking.
Although his work veers toward abstraction, figures and carefully rendered three-dimensional solids—cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones—are interspersed into the works. For Qiu, these forms evoke the rigors of his technical training and suggest an aesthetic entrenched in artificial rationalism. In other works, the artist collages mixed media elements onto or near the paintings, forcing these concrete and tangible objects to reconcile with the flatness of the picture plane. These pairings of opposite underscore the tension between the rational and irrational and further highlight the expressive psychology of his paintings.