Dallas Art Museum to exhibit “The Realm of Appearances”

Dallas Art Museum to exhibit “The Realm of Appearances”

Artist Matthew Wong’s art pieces will get a retrospective exhibit in the Dallas Art Museum according to a Christie’s article which reports, 


“When the Dallas Museum of Art acquired Matthew Wong’s painting The West in 2017, the institutional recognition marked a turning point in Wong’s budding career. The Canadian-born artist had begun painting just five years earlier in Hong Kong. In 2016, he relocated to Edmonton, Canada, and began making inroads in the American art scene. His works started selling at major international art fairs, and in 2018, he had a breakthrough: his first New York solo show, at Karma gallery.


On the cusp of even greater recognition, just before a second solo exhibition at Karma, Wong’s career was cut short when he died in 2019 at age 35. The DMA was the only museum to collect Wong’s work during his lifetime. 


It’s fitting that the institution that recognized Wong’s promise continues to play an important role in the artist’s legacy: Matthew Wong: The Realm of Appearances, now on view at the DMA, with support provided by Christie’s, is the artist’s first museum retrospective.”


Matthew Wong originally started with photography and later moved on to painting, eventually finding his way to Dallas with one of his art pieces according to a ArtNet News article which says, 


“Having taken an MFA in photography in 2012, he quickly grew dissatisfied with the camera, and began teaching himself drawing and painting. The earliest works in this exhibition—drawings from 2014, paintings from 2015—show the artist finding his way, experimenting (sometimes awkwardly) with materials. But Wong was already set on the subject matter that would occupy him for the rest of his life: Landscape, and the very small part an individual human plays in the cosmos. 


By 2017, Wong had mastered his personal art style, which might be described as a synthesis of Fauvism, folk art, and (as a Western viewer like me gleans from the excellent catalogue) the “new ink” painting movement that took root in Hong Kong in the 1960s. He pressed almost to the breaking point his propensity for the “contradictory spaces” he admired in the work of Willem de Kooning, or what Lesley Ma, in the catalogue, calls “constructions bordering on the awkward,” with inharmonious juxtapositions of patterns and forms and strange manipulations of scale. 


Just one of Matthew Wong’s paintings entered a museum collection during his too-short life. He’d sent his 2017 painting The West to the Karma gallery booth at that year’s Dallas Art Fair. It depicts a white-clad figure sitting on a hillside next to a pair of tossed-aside flowers and gazing back, away from the foreground, toward a vast, flat terrain marked only by a pair of trees and a road leading inexorably into the distance—perhaps Wong’s movie-bred image of the Texas landscape. “


The exhibit “The Realm of Appearances” will run until February 19, 2023 in the Dallas Art Museum.