NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of work by Tam Van Tran. "Tam Van Tran: Leaves of Ore" will open on 14 February and will remain on view through 16 March 2013. In addition to this exhibition, Tam Van Tran’s work will be featured in a solo booth at The Art Show, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, from 6 - 10 March. Gala Preview on 5 March.
Tam Van Tran has been strongly influenced by landscapes: the landscapes of his Vietnamese childhood, where he lived near the ocean and Da Nang military airbase, and the landscapes of his current home of Los Angeles and the California coast. His works start with fragments such as porcelain shards that evoke memories of ceramic jars his mother used for making fish sauce, or leaves of copper sheets that lift with air currents like palm fronds in the Santa Ana winds. The fragments include found objects, cardboard and palm leaves that are collaged onto canvas surfaces and natural materials, clay, paint and paper, which are laid on ceramic tiles and embedded beneath recycled glass. The materials embody Tran’s recalled experiences of bombs floating onto shore, villagers fishing with grenades, and intermittent evacuations. The large ceramic wall work in "Leaves of Ore" began with diagrams of Da Nang and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Saigon). Referencing Earth’s tectonic plates, Tran places porcelain chips and recycled glass on top of the diagrams before they are fired. The gathering of both clay and glass forms a mineral aggregation. The diagrams mostly disappear through the process of accumulating elements and kiln firing; yet remain fixed as ideas within the artwork, akin to the process of an individual’s memory formation from the amassment of thoughts and experiences over time. As an individual’s memories are susceptible to influence and change by others, the copper leaf wall works also invite interaction from the viewer, the leaves responding to and monitoring the onlooker’s approach and shifting movements.
Tran is acutely aware of himself as a Vietnamese-American absorbing both Eastern and Western cultural influences. His work incorporates and transforms references from Nouveau Réalisme, Arte Povera, and California ceramic tradition, and may be as easily compared to John Chamberlain’s crushed metal sculptures as it may Asian gold-leafed folding screens. In the tradition of artists such as Kurt Schwitters and Robert Rauschenberg, Tran actively considers, explores, and expands painting concepts.
Tam Van Tran was born in Kon Tum, Vietnam, in 1966. He studied painting and received a BFA in 1990 from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and later attended the Graduate Film and Television Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. His work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Tran has had numerous national and international exhibitions, including "Tam Van Tran: Psychonaut," at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, and "SubUrban: Tam Van Tran," at the Knoxville Museum of Art. His work may be found in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Broad Collection, Santa Monica; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Cleveland Museum of Art.
Tran lives and works in Los Angeles.