On view: September 1st–October 15th
WET, includes a selection of experimental watercolors by Jan Brugger and Miao Wang. Both artists question the value, traditional use, and nature of watercolor to engender the medium with a critical abstract language saturated with both power and vulnerability. Watercolor is a medium that evokes improvisation, immediacy, translucency, and flow. In this exhibition, material, control, chance, and time are worked out inside a medium traditionally trapped in representation.
Wang embraces watercolor’s materiality by way of an idiosyncratic painting process couched in discovery. Observing the unpredictable moments of pigment dispersion in real time and space is liberating for her. As new textures and colors unfold, so do options, and possibilities of otherness, fostering her evolving identity. First pouring water and pigment onto synthetic translucent paper, then working with time, humidity, environment, emotion, and an ever-shifting ground, she strategically paints to interweave and disassemble pigments in water. This choice not only displays her creative approach but also reflects her ongoing evolution between material and herself.
Brugger’s process is that of accumulation and erasure. In her text-based watercolors, secret thoughts, anxieties, and feelings collect in the form of liquid pigments that pool into amorphous fields of color and texture. Sharp marks bleed into indecipherable gestures as the pigments transform from one state to another. In this way, time becomes an essential factor in Brugger’s attempts to absorb a present moment through material, color, and movement. She uses watercolor for its shifting relationship with time, chaos, and control but also for its unstable nature. Watercolor is a paradoxical medium - water both brings pigment to life but can also wash it away.