Anne ChuOctober 30–December 18, 2021 West Gallery
White Columns is proud to present a solo exhibition of sculptures and works on paper by Anne Chu (1959–2016). This will be the first exhibition of Chu’s work since a posthumous presentation in 2016 at Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco; and the first presentation of her work in New York since her 2014 solo exhibition at Tracy Williams, Ltd. The show at White Columns will focus on Chu’s later works and will be the first time that many of them have been exhibited in New York. The exhibition has been organized in close collaboration with Beatrix Chu, the artist’s Estate, and the artist and gallerist Janice Guy.
Chu’s final body of work took its inspiration from Goya’s “The Burial of the Sardine” (c.1812–1819), a painting depicting a carousing crowd in procession on the first day of Lent. Chu’s subsequent work is a processional grouping of sculptures citing different eras and subjects, augmented by a series of watercolor diptychs that combine abstract patterns with figurative drawings. The ‘underwater’ sculptures use materials such as glass, embroidered fabric, and suspended shapes to evoke life in a largely unknown world. The group of sculptures combines references from her personal experiences as a diver as well as influences from Tang dynasty and Baroque sculpture.
Reflecting her persistent interest in history, change, and continuity, Anne Chu’s work referenced ancient art and artifacts to better understand the present world. Chu’s influences ranged from Tang dynasty funerary figures to Medieval heraldry and puppets, Gaudi’s architectural studies, and Pompeian frescoes, all of which served as starting points for different bodies of work. Chu’s work often conflated sculpture and drawing, abstraction and figuration, paying homage to past aesthetic traditions and reinventing them through material and formal experimentation.
Writing in Artforum about Chu’s 2012/13 exhibition at Museum Haus Lange, in Krefeld, Germany, critic Hans Rudolf Reust observed that Chu’s work “… surprises with an array of cultural fragments whose amalgamation seems at once unconventional and natural. The return of ornamentality, a lascivious luxury in spatial geometry, is here more than the return of what modernism repressed.”
Anne Chu (1959-2016) lived and worked in New York, her place of birth. After graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art (1982), she returned to New York to receive her MFA from Columbia University (1985). She was a co-director of AC Project Room (1996-2002), a legendary artist-run gallery based in lower Manhattan. Chu’s work was widely exhibited during her lifetime with one-person institutional exhibitions at: Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL (2005); Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2005); MATRIX Gallery, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA (2000); and the Dallas Museum of Art (1998), among others. Group shows included: Art Parcours, Basel, Switzerland (2011); the 54th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2004); and a two-person show with Matthew Monahan at the ICA, Philadelphia, PA (2010). Chu had solo gallery exhibitions with Tracy Williams Ltd., New York (2014); Monica De Cardenas, Zuoz, Switzerland (2010); Donald Young Gallery, Chicago (2009 and 1999); 303 Gallery, New York (2008 and 2003); Victoria Miro, London (2006 and 2001); Christine Burgin, New York (2002); Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles (1998); and AC Project Room (1999, 1998, and 1996), and others.
Anne Chu received a number of prestigious grants and awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; Joan Mitchell Foundation; NEA/Arts International; Alpert/Ucross Foundation; and Art Matters. Her commissioned work “Mountain Views” is on permanent display at the US Embassy in Beijing.
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On the occasion of the current exhibition of Anne Chu’s (1959-2016) work at White Columns, we are pleased to announce an online gathering to celebrate Anne’s life and work. Participants will each speak to their personal relationship with Anne and her work, and will include the artist’s friends, colleagues, collaborators, gallerists, and curators.
November 19, 2021