Interlocutor Interviews | JENNY WU | Ai Yo!

15 Feb


Feb 14

Exhibition Feature – AI YO! by Jenny Wu

Exhibition FeaturesMultidisciplinary Artists

Photo by Jarrett Hendrix

Morton Fine Art is pleased to announce Ai Yo!, a solo exhibition of sculptural paintings by artist Jenny Wu. Continuing an innovative latex paint and time-based practice the artist has been implementing for nearly a decade, Ai Yo! features Wu further exploring composition, color, expertise, control, chance and surprise—favoring discovery over mastery.

Long interested in tactility, in-betweenness, embodiedness, and construction (Wu has a background in architectural studies), the exhibition questions our basic assumptions about what paintings and sculptures can be. Wu’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, Ai Yo!, will be on view through March 8, 2023 at Morton’s Washington, D.C. space (52 O St NW #302).

Photo by Jarrett Hendrix


Engaged in an innovative hybrid sculptural painting practice, Jenny Wu is a rigorous, focused and accomplished artist with a humble nature and good sense of humor.  Her practice acknowledges—and embodies—the sensational, perceptual and temporal properties of her materials, particularly her enlivening applications of latex paint and glossy coating of resin. Having cultivated a deep material wisdom, Wu is able to transform her materials from their original forms and then crucially present them within new, engrossing formal contexts. Deeply admiring Jenny’s vision and art practice, I am thrilled to be able to continue to share this transformative body of work with Ai Yo!, Wu’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Briefly Inhabit a Fictional World, 2022 – Latex paint and resin on wood panel – 18 x 18 x 2.5 in.
Hello to That One Person Who Nods Along Encouragingly During Presentations, 2022 – Latex paint and resin on wood panel – 36 x 12 x 2.5 in.


I could never sit still when growing up, and my mother found an alternative method to make me sit still—classical art lessons. These childhood lessons  built a foundation  that has led to my current cross-disciplinary practice in painting, sculpture, installation, video, and participatory projects. My work acknowledges the sensational and perceptual properties of materiality and then transforms the materials, from their original forms and purpose, to present them within new contexts. 

My current sculptural paintings transform liquid paint into sculpture, a process derived from making oil on canvas paintings and discovering the many layers of oil paint beneath the surface. Those layers of oil paint embody linear time, repetitive processes, and material characteristics. Now, I exemplify the layering by pouring a thick coat of latex paint one color at a time on a silicone surface, letting each color dry completely, and repeating the process many times. The colors of each layer are premeditated. I later cut the dried paint to reveal the layers of cross-section, which I then use to assemble sculpturally on a flat surface. The cross-section juxtaposes order and chaos: the consistent order of paint from old to new, and the imperfection of subtle differences in thicknesses. Each piece follows a specific pattern, uniting the differences to present a systematic imagery. Resin coating is added later on to amplify the colors, as well as to protect the paint. These works question our basic assumptions about what we consider paintings can be and what sculptures can be.

The Analysis is Severely Limited By My Lack of Understanding of What I am Doing, 2022 – Latex paint and resin on wood panel – 36 x 24 x 2.5 in.
Have Not Overthrown a Government Since 1954, 2022 -Latex paint and resin on wood panel – 36 x 24 x 2.5 in. 

Ai Yo!, will be on view through March 8, 2023 at Morton’s Washington, D.C. space (52 O St NW #302).

Check out our coverage of other current and recent art exhibitions

All images courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Available artwork by JENNY WU

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