The Americans: Yikui (Coy) Gu, Exhibition

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The Americans: Yikui (Coy) Gu, Exhibition

June 4 - August 21

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Exhibition:

June 4 – August 21, 2021

SPECIAL PROGRAMING:

OPENING EVENT:
Friday, June 4, 2021 | 5 – 8 PM during First Friday

ON ART: Wednesday, August 11 | 6 PM

The Americans represents an autobiographical exploration of the artist Yikui (Coy) Gu, his wife, and their immigrant Chinese-German marriage. As the central theme throughout the work, Gu injects the viewer directly into their personal narrative, revealing intimate moments and essential truths. The layering of visual information through paint, stock imagery, and everyday objects creates a rich depth of provocative storytelling. Gu’s playful incorporation of popular culture, political reference, and personal experience allows for both immediate relevance and cultural commentary. 

As a classically trained artist, each work effectively oscillates between Gu’s highly detailed drawings and the juxtaposition of gestural shapes. These layered perceptions of space construct snapshots of moments that are collaged together to create vibrant compositions. Each is filled with a series of iconography specific to Gu as well as larger cultural and political symbolism that runs throughout his work.

Gu employs a layered process incorporating stock imagery that he then uses as a framework to paint an original image. This singular process is one aspect of an overall foundation in which Gu builds his layers of imagery. Other additions include hand drawings and the use of everyday objects, such as Gu’s passport and Top Ramen seasoning packets. The result is a flat perspective with tiers of compositional richness. While the work emphasizes real and specific moments, they feel imagined and dreamlike; an alternative universe of collaged memories. 

The body of work showcases Gu’s mature style of piecing together these appropriated images and personal reflections that humorously explore elements of life and love, while utilizing that subject material to acknowledge cultural constructs. Each work individually initiates a dialog, a snapshot or moment that contributes to the overall body of work. In doing so, the showcase deeply explores the human condition through Gu’s lens. T

hese narratives can be thoughtfully scathing, provocative, and humorously self-deprecating; a viewpoint that conflates Gu’s perspective with our own lives. The accumulation of materials, methods, and meanings facilitates a conversation that is both personal to Gu and universally relevant.

Yikui (Coy) Gu was born in 1983 in Nantong, China and emigrated to the United States at the age of seven, growing up in Albany, NY. He has a BFA from Long Island University and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited his work nationally in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, and St. Louis; and internationally in London, Berlin, and Siena, Italy.

His first New York solo exhibit is scheduled for Spring 2021 at the Chinese American Arts Council. He has been an artist in residence at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and has been reviewed in the Washington Post, KunstForum International, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Yale Daily News. His work has appeared on the cover of the Lower East Side Review, and in Fresh Paint and Art Maze. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Art Library (NYC), the Siena Art Institute (Siena, Italy), Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ), and numerous private collections.

ON ART: Wednesday, August 11 | 6 PM

The Americans represents an autobiographical exploration of the artist Yikui (Coy) Gu, his wife, and their immigrant Chinese-German marriage. As the central theme throughout the work, Gu injects the viewer directly into their personal narrative, revealing intimate moments and essential truths. The layering of visual information through paint, stock imagery, and everyday objects creates a rich depth of provocative storytelling. Gu’s playful incorporation of popular culture, political reference, and personal experience allows for both immediate relevance and cultural commentary. 

As a classically trained artist, each work effectively oscillates between Gu’s highly detailed drawings and the juxtaposition of gestural shapes. These layered perceptions of space construct snapshots of moments that are collaged together to create vibrant compositions. Each is filled with a series of iconography specific to Gu as well as larger cultural and political symbolism that runs throughout his work.

Gu employs a layered process incorporating stock imagery that he then uses as a framework to paint an original image. This singular process is one aspect of an overall foundation in which Gu builds his layers of imagery. Other additions include hand drawings and the use of everyday objects, such as Gu’s passport and Top Ramen seasoning packets. The result is a flat perspective with tiers of compositional richness. While the work emphasizes real and specific moments, they feel imagined and dreamlike; an alternative universe of collaged memories. 

The body of work showcases Gu’s mature style of piecing together these appropriated images and personal reflections that humorously explore elements of life and love, while utilizing that subject material to acknowledge cultural constructs. Each work individually initiates a dialog, a snapshot or moment that contributes to the overall body of work. In doing so, the showcase deeply explores the human condition through Gu’s lens. These narratives can be thoughtfully scathing, provocative, and humorously self-deprecating; a viewpoint that conflates Gu’s perspective with our own lives. The accumulation of materials, methods, and meanings facilitates a conversation that is both personal to Gu and universally relevant.

About the Artist:

Yikui (Coy) Gu was born in 1983 in Nantong, China and emigrated to the United States at the age of seven, growing up in Albany, NY. He has a BFA from Long Island University and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited his work nationally in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, and St. Louis; and internationally in London, Berlin, and Siena, Italy. His first New York solo exhibit is scheduled for Spring 2021 at the Chinese American Arts Council. He has been an artist in residence at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and has been reviewed in the Washington Post, KunstForum International, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Yale Daily News. His work has appeared on the cover of the Lower East Side Review, and in Fresh Paint and Art Maze. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Art Library (NYC), the Siena Art Institute (Siena, Italy), Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ), and numerous private collections.

For more information on all the First Friday offerings at The Delaware Contemporary, please visit their website. 

Details

Start:
June 4
End:
August 21
Event Categories:
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Website:
https://www.decontemporary.org/the-americans

Venue

The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE 19801 United States
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Phone:
302.656.6466
Website:
www.decontemporary.org