Tag Archives: Tyler Nesler

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

NATALIE CHEUNG | Interlocutor Magazine

29 Oct


Oct 25

The darkroom orchestrations of NATALIE CHEUNG

Visual ArtistsMultidisciplinary Artists

Intersections of Light #008, 2022, 30 x 38 in. Color pinhole photograph

Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC, is pleased to announce Made of Light, a solo exhibition of alternative process photography and sculpture by the artist Natalie Cheung. Utilizing time, gesture and much technical expertise, the artist captures lived experience directly onto the surface of her photosensitive paper and microplastic sculptures. Cheung’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, Made of Light will be on view through November 12, 2022.

Interview by Interlocutor Magazine

You’re a formally trained photographer but you no longer own a camera. What was the impetus for you to abandon the processing of images shot with a film camera to a state of pure experimentation with the development process itself?

I started to get away from using a camera when the medium of photography was shifting over to full digital. At that point, I was already burned out from toting a camera everywhere, which prevented me from being in the moment—not to mention the weird looks bystanders would give me if I took a picture of a very compelling stain on the ground.

More importantly, I wanted to get away from taking pictures of stuff and instead wished to capture an experience on paper. Using photography to simply document is like saying Harry Potter is just a regular school kid. There has been so much experimentation in photography since the beginning of the medium. I think of photography as solar alchemy.

Untitled 1, 2021, 42 x 85 in. Silver gelatin chemigram on photo paper, (From “Facsimile” series)

In your “Facsimile” series, you play with light intuitively in a free-associative style that results in “riffs” on prior forms, such as the “nautical wash of a Turner landscape to the relaxed staining of Helen Frankenthaler’s abstractions.” What kind of personal parameters (if any) do you set for determining when one of these works is finished and ready to show?

While composition and tonal range are certainly qualities that attract me to a composition, the idea of my “Facsimile” series is that every outcome I make is, was, or will be, a pattern seen somewhere else in the world—whether created unintentionally in nature or created with intent by the human hand, without ever having seen my work. Think infinite monkey theorem: if you give a monkey a typewriter, infinite time, paper, and ink, eventually the monkey will type lines from Shakespeare. So in this regard, every composition that comes out of my process is important to the concept, regardless of the look.

67 Hours, 2018, 42 x 80 in., Cyanotype photogram on paper, (From “Intermediaries” series)

In your “Intermediaries” series, you use “slow-reacting cyanotype to create abstract works that seem to map islands, river deltas, or erosion itself.” This was also the process originally made to use blueprints. What would you say you’re ultimately commenting on with these works in terms of humanity’s long history of trying to control/tame nature?

You can’t control everything, there’s always a give and take in nature. Humans tend to think that they are omnipotent, but there are always unforeseen consequences to what we do. Think about every time we have introduced a foreign species into an ecosystem in order to solve one problem, but in doing so, created an even bigger one. “Intermediaries” simulate the uncertainty of cause and effect. I set up my artwork and let nature take its course in evaporation, and what I am left with is usually very different from what I thought would be the outcome. And that’s the point.

Model Island 7, 2021, 16 x 16 in. Micro nylon fiber, paper, paint & plaster, (From “Reclaim” series)

Your “Reclaim” sculptures are topographic models of islands constructed from nylon flocking. Could you describe what attracted you to this material and why it’s important to the meaning of the pieces that you construct from it?

I have been attracted to this material since I was a child, as many children have. It’s the same material they use for fuzzy stickers. But also being a microplastic, the flocking is an ideal material to use in artwork about climate change. Microplastic wastewater is a huge problem. That stuff ends up in fish and crops and eventually in the food we eat. And microplastics don’t have to start off as micro—larger plastic items get broken down and crushed into microparticles that go everywhere. I created the “Reclaim” sculptures to be seductive eye candy; people are drawn to the bright color and shiny plastic, as we are programmed to be, namely by our need for water, searching out for it by its shiny glimmers in nature. The sculptures speak to the darker side of our nature in hyper-consumerism and what it’s doing to the environment.

07, 2020. Dimensions and medium variable, (From “Rock. Paper. Scissors.” series)

For your “Rock. Paper. Scissors.” series you are influenced by chuāng huā papercuts, made on sheets of printer paper in honor of the Lunar New Year. You place these designs against a darkroom projector, blowing them up to monumental reliefs captured on photographic sheets. What most appeals to you about the process of enlarging these designs and allowing elements of chance to slip through the shapes?

“Rock. Paper. Scissors.” is everything traditional Chinese paper cutting isn’t, and that’s sort of a reflection of myself. I am American Chinese and, as such, there are expectations from both of those cultural sides and I’m just saying: “No thanks, I’ll find my own way.” The scale of the artworks is large, the shapes are imperfectly cut, but of all my work, R.P.S. is the most intentional artwork I make in terms of the outcome. I carefully lay all my cut shapes onto the photographic paper, but what I can’t predict are all the interactions between the shapes once the light hits the paper. So the outcome does hold an element of surprise for me. Chance is a central theme in all of my artwork, but in the case of R.P.S., it helps illustrate the many unexpected things that happen in our life that ultimately shape our identities.

Intersections of Light #060, 2022, 30 x 38 in. Color pinhole photograph

Since digital has almost entirely taken over the realm of photography, do you view process photography art as a way to maintain the craft of darkroom processing while also transporting it into a medium that both makes it into something new and also pays respect to the long history of film photography?

I have a deep love for the photographic medium. It’s a magic medium that allows people like me (who can’t draw to save my life) a place to be artistic. I think a lot about how photography for me is integrating the process of my darkroom techniques with the concept of my art; it’s not simply the method I chose to print art on. These days, if you print a photograph in the darkroom with traditional subject matter you took with a film camera, there is a certain level of romanticism that is attached to the image, simply because it was created with what is now considered a historical process—and that’s what I’m trying to get away from. The first question I would ask when I see straight photographs printed in the darkroom is: “Why is it important that the photograph was printed in the darkroom?” What I’m trying to get at is thinking beyond photography just as medium; I’m trying to capture its physical experience.

Made of Light will be on view through November 12, 2022 at Morton Fine Art

All images courtesy Morton Fine Art and the artist

Tyler Nesler

Natalie CheungMorton Fine ArtPhotographersPhotographyProcess PhotographySculptureSculptorsExhibitionsSolo ShowsDC Gallery