Drea Cofield & Ping Zheng: Summer 2017

Nancy Margolis Gallery

523 W 25th Street, New York

June 29 –  July 29, 2017

Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition, SUMMER 2017, opening June 29 through July 29, 2017 will introduce two artists, Drea Cofield, and Ping Zheng who will exhibit their small works on paper; Cofield, watercolors, and Zheng, oil stick paintings.

Drea Cofield is to exhibit a series of watercolor paintings that are appropriations selected from old master etchings. The etchings, satiric commentaries on society of a certain period, range from allegory, pictorial metaphors, to pure fantasy. Taking themes from the etchings the artist illuminates figures acting out scenes of vice, war, hypocrisy, violence, and love. It is an interaction of the human narrative, the inherent frailties that drives the world regardless of the century. These thoughts are paradoxically timely, drawing parallels to the aberrant behavior found currently in American politics.

The artist delineated the subjects with soft form and color, imbuing the paintings with a fragile sensibility. We see unfold acts of violence, a thrusting weapon, a rough encounter, others show tenderness and warmth, effectively making the stories in these small watercolors feel real.

Ping Zheng, born in China, grew up in a traditional Chinese family where being female was synonymous with inferior status. This left her with a low opinion of herself as a woman and a human being. Ping and family lived in many geographic regions with beautiful contrasting landscapes. The outdoors became a solitary playground where she could be herself, fire up her imagination without fear of bringing on the disparagement she faced at home. Today nature is woven into her art and life, remaining central to both.

New worlds opened for Ping when attending western colleges in London, and the United States. Exposed to new ideas of personal freedom, and gender equality she began to absorb these ideas and transfer them to her practice.

The paintings in this exhibition draw on her personal history, past memory, metaphors for all that energized her from within. Transferring powerful feelings into shapes, intense color, remembered landscapes, makes these small paintings strong eloquent soliloquies. Ping’s art is about herself, it is an assertion of the present, a rejection of the past, and a straddling of a line between abstraction and figuration.

Comment