P·P·O·W is pleased to announce a one-person show of new work by Martin Wong. This exhibition coincides with “Sweet Oblivion”, a mid-career retrospective of Martin Wong’s work at the New Museum and the publication of a book of his work by Rizzoli with essays by Dan Cameron, Carlo McCormick, Lydia Yee, Barry Blinderman and Yasmin Ramirez.
Martin Wong was born in 1946. He began exhibiting his work in 1984 at Semaphore Gallery. Martin Wong’s work, depicting East Village and Lower East Side tenements, scenes of passionate firemen, closed storefronts, and the sign language alphabet are some of the most important works made in the 1980’s. In 1992 Mr. Wong turned his attention to his own culture and produced the Chinatown work exhibited at P·P·O·W that same year. More colorful than his previous work, these paintings depict both New York and San Francisco Chinatowns in detail, cities that Wong has strong ties to. After this exhibit, Wong moved to San Francisco and this is his first exhibition since 1993. The work in this exhibit was painted in San Francisco, as of July 1997 and in New York as of March 1997.
Like the Social realists, Martin Wong depicts the world around him. In this show, Wong will exhibit a series of paintings of cacti. Stylized and very stark, these still lives are based on the artist’s fascination with the forms of these plants. This work, combined with scenes of street kids, the Puerto Rican day parade, trees and some of Mr. Wong’s more well known themes will mark his first exhibit in five years. An important work in this show will be a re-working of “La Vida”, a large painting of people in a tenement building which can be seen at the New Museum.
Martin Wong has been in numerous one-person and group exhibitions. He is in many private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bronx Museum and Syracuse University.