Dallas Museum of Art presents Matthew Wong: "The Realm of Appearances" closing day
The first museum retrospective and U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the late painter Matthew Wong premieres at the Dallas Museum of Art, the only museum that collected the artist’s work during his lifetime. Featuring approximately 60 paintings created by Wong during his short yet prolific career, Matthew Wong: "The Realm of Appearances" offers the first formal account of the full scope of Wong’s six-year oeuvre, with a particular focus on his landscape paintings and what they reveal about his process and commitment to dialogue and collaboration.
Wong (1984-2019), a self-taught painter, achieved resounding critical acclaim during his short artistic career, spanning just six years between 2013, when he began painting and drawing in earnest, and his death in 2019. In that time, Wong became known for evocative, unpeopled landscape paintings in a wide range of styles, from vibrant, panoramic vistas portrayed in iridescent patterns of dots and daubs to cool mountain landscapes delineated by long brushstrokes and washes.
In their non-specificity and universality of place, Wong’s landscapes reflect his own transnationality, having spent most of his life between Canada and Hong Kong. His expansive worldview manifests also in the range of references found in his work, which readily recalls Post-Impressionists, Fauvists, 17th-century Qing period ink painters, and contemporaries he admired. Wong adeptly synthesized many artists and materials across time, place, and medium to create a visual language uniquely his own.
The exhibition also features a special conservation study of a few of Wong’s paintings, including The West (2017), which was acquired by the DMA in 2017. Due to the intense speed and rigor of his art making, Wong frequently reused canvases, so several of his early oil on canvas works like The West are executed on top of his earlier paintings. This conservation study, led by DMA Paintings Conservator Laura Eva Hartman, provides invaluable insights into Wong’s process and techniques.