Wang Keping and Jeng Jundian at Marlborough Chelsea
By Jonathan Goodman
This title of this elegant show was “Body & Nature,” referring to the carved wooden figures of Wang Keeping and the painted landscapes of Jeng Jundian, respectively.
Jeng Jundian, a Taiwanese painter whose landscapes are composed by means of elaborate crosshatching, has not exhibited since 1998. This show afforded views the chance to encounter two Chinese artists who have obtained highly original effects established traditions.
Jeng executes his landscapes in crayon and oil, as opposed to the more traditional Chinese ink. His beautifully nuanced studies of nature are built up with a dense hatching of tiny lines, sometimes at right angles to one another, forming a kind if good, and sometimes obliquely angles. In Hsinshan Menu 2 (2003), Jeng has portrayed a forest scene; lit and shaded foliage takes up most of the composition, the tree trunks forming verticals in the lower quarter. The subtle effects of light are strikingly investigated, but the right-angled patchwork feels abstract, and therefore more contemporary.
The primarily lavender sky in Lan His 4 (2002) and the greenery of a hill rising up to meet the horizontal, and diagonal lines that form a constituent pattern. Jeng, like Wang, is an able technician whose renderings transcend a mere command of materials. The exhibitions of these two under known figures is yet another sign of New York’s growing recognition of Chinese artists.
Art in America (June/July 2004), page182