Sandy by Christine Wang
Sandy by Christine Wang

The Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) and Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center Art Gallery are pleased to present Gaseous Abstraction, a two-person exhibition with Artists in Residence Kelley Lowe and Christine Wang.

Open to the public, the exhibition runs from 27 April to 9 May 2014 at the HBKU Student Center Art Gallery in Education City with an opening reception on 27 April from 6 pm to 8 pm. The exhibition Gaseous Abstraction is highly today and emphasises the HBKU Student Center art gallery’s ambition to show contemporary, progressive and relevant exhibitions to the students and faculty of HBKU, and the general public.

Gaseous Abstraction brings together two separate approaches to critiquing the common contemporary condition of over-consumption. The show attempts to ‘slow down’ the cycle of material consumption by creating space for the viewer to contemplate the formal qualities of materials that are so easily and quickly created, consumed and discarded. Through the incorporation of consumable materials, a different use value – aesthetic instead of functional – highlights different art historical narratives, minimalist and modernist abstraction in the case of Lowe, and ‘bad’ taste painting in the case of Wang. While Lowe’s moment of contemplation is presented through beauty and aesthetics, Wang’s contemplative moment is fraught with cognitive dissonance, irony and guilt.

VCUQatar is the Qatar campus of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Established in 1998 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation, VCUQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design.

Born in 1990 in Milan, Italy, Lowe earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU in Richmond. She has undertaken studies at the Ecole National des Beaux Arts in Paris, Lehigh University, and Marist College. She is currently an artist in residence at VCUQatar. Lowe’s work features prints, sculptural installations, and paintings all of which have some element of found objects gleaned from the Doha landscape. Her work has previously dealt with issues of cultural and material trade, which has been further developed during her stay in Qatar. In the packaging, transporting and assembling of materials what is left over is used to create a visual language that attempts to compliment, if only in an insignificant way, the development of the city.

Landcruiser by Kelley Lowe
Landcruiser by Kelley Lowe

Born in 1985 in Washington DC, USA, Wang received her MFA from UCLA and her BFA from The Cooper Union. Wang is currently an Artist in Residence in the Painting and Printmaking Department at VCUQatar. Wang completed residencies at Studio LLC 2010 from the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Chashama North 2010, and Skowhegan 2007. Wang co-founded artist-run studio space Splinters and Logs in Brooklyn, NY with Caroline Woolard. Selected exhibition venues include The Prince Street Gallery NY, Black Box LA, Night Gallery LA, Rutgers University and the Gatov Gallery, California State University Long Beach. Wang is represented by Night Gallery in Los Angeles. Wang draws from a variety of pop and historical representative images that become allegorical when appropriated into a contemporary art setting. The allegory of the angel of judgment represents abstracted ideas of the consequences of global warming. Global warming itself is abstract, that is, not concrete enough to change patterns of consumption in developed and developing nations. Thus Wang’s images seek to undo the abstraction of the effects of global consumption by literalising the iconic effects of climate change using symbols, text and pictures.