Flow, Mastering a Brushstroke, Winter Exhibition, Lilienthal Gallery, 23 Emory Place, Knoxville, November 2023
Beginning today and running through February, Lilienthal Gallery presents their winter exhibition with meditative art designed to transmit “the energetic flow of creativity into a poetic form of careful precision and elegant imperfection.” Three artists are presented in the collection curated by Ilana Lilienthal and Kelly Ferguson, including Sigrid Artmann, Guo Hai-Jiang, and Anthony Huang.
Taken as a group, the collection intends to mirror “the natural world by balancing simplicity and complexity, color and form, space and non-space, to create a reflective animation of spirit.” Drawing strongly from both western and eastern artistic cannons, “Artmann’s asemic compositions evoke the self-sufficient phenomena of Cy Twombly; Hai-Jiang’s impressionistic qualities and subject matter recall the lineage of Van Gogh or Monet; and Huang’s colorful, abstracted landscapes inherit a particular entropy similar to the oil paintings of Turner.”
Of the artists:
Sigrid Artmann (Ludwigsburg, Germany)
Artmann believes in the intuitive nature of human expression through a practice she calls absolute writing. Through illegible and abstracted marks, using the principles of calligraphy, she works in a flow state where meditation guides her brush, conveying expressive emotionalism through creative and embodied movement . . .
This carefully balanced discord between presence, awareness, and non-thinking leads the body to move unconsciously and leave an impression in ink of one’s soul on the paper. Through her practice of absolute writing, Artmann reflects the true state of our lives: in which all humans are part of something that is largely mysterious and beyond our comprehension. We see details, but we cannot see the whole universe.
. . . Artmann is largely self-taught. She has conducted further training with calligraphic artists such as Gottfried Pott and Brody Neuenschwander. She is a founding member of the calligraphy group NEO3, the artist collective Night Sisters, and Writing Artists of Baden-Württemberg (SKBW). Her work has been exhibited in Moscow, Belgium, San Francisco, Miami and more.
Guo Hai-Jiang (Taiyuan, Shanxi)
Hai-Jiang’s oil paintings explore a nexus point betweentraditional Eastern landscapesandsublime Western traditions. His artistic expression seeks truth in tranquility and depth in simplicity. Sweeping, angular brushwork manifests a particular untamed vitality that is inherent to the natural wilderness and characteristic of the far-reaching and expansive spirit of Chinese art.
Hai-Jiang’s intricate arrangements are rough and rugged, while maintaining a certainfluidity, rhythm, and flow, resulting in a colorful play of subtle juxtapositions and showcasing two distinctive styles. The first style finds visage in the ink presentation through adept techniques like double hook strokes, texture strokes, dotting, splashing, and breaking the ink which creates a balance of both abstract and concrete qualities, resulting in an elegant spatial interplay. The second seamlessly integrates ink and color to reveal the artist’s unique aesthetic perceptions. Throughconscious movementand modern sensory impressionism, his flowing brushwork and shifting hues are intense yet graceful and brightly self-illuminating.
Hai-Jiang discovered a profound love for painting at an early age and has since committed his life to artistic creation, devoting countless years to the tranquil pursuit of truth and subtle exploration of existential wisdom. With a Bachelor’s degree from the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts (1988), Hai-Jiang draws from the lineage of traditional painting and the innovation of contemporary art to compose works of a passionate interplay between ink and color.
Anthony Huang (Born in Taipei, Raised in Shanghai, China)
Huang seeks to create a space ofpeaceandtranquilitythrough his work to alleviate the contemporary chaos of a fast moving world. He chose printmaking as his medium, an artform which originated in Han Dynasty China around 206 B.C. and yielded a rich cultural tradition. Huang is deeply influenced by theDaoist philosophy of Wu-Wei, also known as Non-ActionorEffortless Action, a state of being in which one acts perfectly and spontaneously according to the situation. Motifs of nature are utilized to reflect the inner balance between complexity and simplicity, immersing viewers in a scene of contemplation. This tension of energetic brushstrokes and precise illustrations express the track of the wind, direction of the water, and the cycle of the seasons.
Huang walks the line between traditional and contemporary; painting and printmaking. His graceful fluid brushstrokes evoke freehand paintings, but his process doesn’t end with the application of ink to paper. Rather, he paints or draws onto a surface matrix, then transfers the original image through monotypes and lithography to create a unique print . . .
Anthony Huang is a Taiwanese-American printmaker. He received his BA in Journalism at the East China University of Political Science and Law in 2014. After time working as a professional ballroom-dancer and theater producer in Shanghai, he moved to the United States, receiving an MFA in Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently completing an MFA in Studio Art concentrated in Printmaking at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The exhibition also finds the gallery increasingly using the space for activities and events. Currently featured artist Ingrid Artmann will be on hand at the gallery opening tonight to discuss her work and answer questions from interested patrons. Similarly, as a part of First Friday, January 5, Anthony Huang will make an appearance and offer remarks. Seamlessly coinciding with the current exhibition, the space is scheduled for yoga and meditation events, January 14 and February 11.
For the opening tonight, anticipate artist remark at 6:30. Want to really get in the spirit? Suggested dress includes “minimalistic composition of black and white.” As highbrow as that might sound, consider doing it. It’s fun to dress in theme and makes the event even more beautiful. Meanwhile, there will be beer. Aaron McClain at Crafty Bastard has developed an “exclusive limited-edition brew featuring the work of Sigrid Artmann.”
The space has developed into a truly unique venue for art in our city and I’d encourage you to explore the latest exhibition.