"Silent, upon a peak in Darien"
Oil pastel, Chinese ink, watercolor and acrylic on Yupo paper | 2021
Chaos, In An Almost Classical Mode is artist Fei Li’s attempt to create an encyclopedia that examines the capacity for chaos inside a rigorous and coherent structure. Li’s approach is oblique, like walking a tightrope between visual dynamics and pandemonium. Inspired by the correspondences between James Joyce’s Ulysses and Homer’s Odyssey, the paintings in this series take the structure of historical artworks as their point of departure. Embodying the allusive nature of the works, the paintings weave an immense network of visual relationships into a labyrinth. Li purposefully uses small oil pastel sticks on large surfaces as a metaphor for the artist raising arms against manifest destiny, exploring what it means to confront an impossibility.
The left panel was based on Chinese Yuan Dynasty painting by Wang Meng "Ge Zhichuan Moving his Dwelling" and the right panel is based on "The Whore of Babylon" by Dürer.
The title is the last line from Kate’s sonnet “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer.” The painting echoes the metaphor as the poet “presented himself as one of the explorers of the past, giving his explorations in the realms of literature a similar sense of adventure and heroism.” On the other hand, the painting is also a retaliation against the gaze from the explorers who were not only to discover, but to claim and colonize.
108 x 120 inches
Signed by artist.
The work comes with a Certification of Authenticity signed and numbered by the Co-Founder of Tappan
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Fei Li’s work explores the strength of fragility as she works to dismantle both the assimilation and typecasting of Asian diasporic art in the west through painting, public ritual, and interactive storytelling. She is the awardee of numerous funded artist’s residencies, fellowships, and grants, and her recent solo show was featured in Hyperallergic.