Li Songsong at Pace

These huge canvases with their impasto surfaces struck me as almost ugly at first: the colors, the quasi-photographic Gerhard Richter feel, the imagery. But by the time I left Pace these works by Chinese painter Li Songsong had not just grown on me, but wowed me.

I had a visceral reaction to the textured, thick application of paint.

The scale was humbling.

The imagery took on more context and nuance seen together, and the grids of color the images were reassembled in seemed less rigid and more poetic.

This one is incredibly layered both in the subdued pastel and sepia coloring and literally: As you can see below, the artist mounted separate metal panels and layered them on top of one another.

This canvas seems almost Impressionistic in the way it dabbles light through the trees. The subject, however, is anything but.

Up at Pace Gallery through August 5, and certainly worth a viewing this summer.

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