Abend Gallery is pleased to present a collector preview of Calvin Lai's upcoming solo exhibition, opening on June 8th, 2022.
I was born an all-or-nothing kind of guy, and though I've learned the nuance of grey areas I'm still fascinated with extremes. Perhaps it's this that causes me to viscerally feel the battle between opposite forces, something, in this day and age, we are all suffering through. The struggle we face today is knocking all of us off balance, and everyone seems to be scrambling to regain their equilibrium. This search is the foundation for Seeking Balance, a new series of 8 paintings that explores the figure in order to find that point between extremes.
I begin with tension. Tension that can be created through the basic elements of art, like lighting and composition, and tension that is innate with rendering figures in mid motion. This dynamic is consciously fostered at the outset of these paintings, and sets an appropriate backdrop to reflect upon the universal condition of being out of balance. Each piece in this series tries to harness this tense energy and at times uses opposite elements to find equipoise. One can see this within the subjects themselves as they are captured in precarious poses, some ready to topple over, but all still feeling as if they are solid and stable. It is only after the figures interact effortlessly with the abstracted backgrounds that a sense of stability is regained, without that melding the paintings would all fall apart.
Seeking Balance is a creative journey towards that place between extremes and a state of mind where balance exists. Every piece I finished helped me get closer to remaining in that place. Every piece is a testament to its existence on and off the picture plane. - Calvin Lai
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