"Beautiful and seductive, these landscapes contain, but only partially conceal, a visceral howl. My understanding of them fluctuates between seeing them as landscapes, then as abstractions, and finally again as landscapes."
- Ying Li
There is a pathway that enables the artist to travel across time and space. This form of travel empowers an artist to create in the moment, to see with an alternative perspective, observe, and obtain insight from another dimension. I work in the zone where abstraction and representation meet, using high volumes of oil paint, bold colors, earthy textures, and calligraphic lines to depict landscape. Working from a deep engagement with the material and visual possibilities of painting, my goal is to convey a visceral connection with place.
My training in Chinese painting and calligraphy have helped me to form a brushwork that is both free and disciplined. Color is the core of my painting. I use it to convey mood and memory, and to express particular feelings and a sense of place and time.
This liberates and allows the retrieval of spiritual energy and connections associated with each place, with an inner reflection captured spontaneously on the canvas. The paint becomes a living and breathing entity between earth and sky, heaven and earth.
Ying Li was born in Beijing, China, and graduated from Anhui Teachers University in 1977 before immigrating to the United States in 1983. Her numerous one-person exhibitions include those at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, Lohin Geduld Gallery, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, The Painter Center and Bowery Gallery (all New York City), and in college and university galleries at Dartmouth, Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, the College of Staten Island and the Big Town Gallery, Vermont. Her work has also appeared in numerous group exhibitions, including those at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The National Academy Museum, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Kouros Gallery, and Hood Museum of Art.
She is the recipient of Henry Ward Ranger Fund Purchase Award, Edwin Palmer Memorial Prize for painting from the National Academy Museum, Donald Jay Gordon Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Swarthmore College, McMillian Stewart Visiting Critic, Maryland Institute College of Art and Artist-in-Residence, Dartmouth College. Her other Residential Fellowships include: Centro Incontri Umani Ascona, Switzerland; Valparaiso Foundation, Spain; Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society, Fogo Island, Newfoundland; and Chateau Rochefort-en-Terre, France. Li’s work has been reviewed in numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, New York Press, Cover, Artcritical.com and Hyperallergic.com. Ying Li is Professor of Fine Arts and Department Chair, Haverford College, PA. (Courtesy: Painting Perceptions)
by Larry Groff
“My goal in painting is to capture nature, in both its toughness and vulnerability, and transmit all of its energy to the canvas. To this end I use intense colors, earthy textures and calligraphic lines, working in the zone where abstraction and representation shade into each other. My interests and training in Chinese painting and calligraphy lead me to a brushwork that is at once free and disciplined.
Color lies at the core of my painting process. I use it to convey mood and memory, and to express a particular sense of place and time. In my painting, color, line and plane interact, pushing each other until they reach a harmony, a unity. Like a jazz musician, I hear the lines of saxophone, bass and drums, each improvising in response to the others, swinging the piece forward. If and when these responses reach their climax, the painting is done.” - Ying Li, 2015