Matthew Wong, A Dream, Oil on canvas

Matthew Wong, A Dream, 2019. Oil on canvas, 177.8 x 203.2 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View

August 13, 2021 - April 18, 2022

Members’ Access:
August 13, 4:30pm - 9pm
August 14 & 15

Annual Passholders and the public:
Starts August 17

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.

EXHIBITION OVERVIEW

Expressing wonder and melancholy, Matthew Wong: Blue View is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the short-lived but brilliant career of Toronto-born Chinese-Canadian artist Matthew Wong. Featuring more than 40 paintings from the artist’s Blue Series, made between 2017 and 2019, the exhibition invites viewers into a world of imaginary nocturnal landscapes, brooding interiors and vibrant still life compositions.

The artworks in the Blue Series range in scale from intimate gouache on paper compositions to monumental oil paintings. A meditation on the many moods of the colour blue, the series evokes a very contemporary sense of isolation and a wide range of artistic styles – from Chinese calligraphy and scroll painting to Pointillism and Fauvism. Self-taught, Wong’s expressive painterly style rewards close looking. Shadowy, solitary figures reveal themselves to patient viewers in these vividly personal images.

Curated by Julian Cox, AGO’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator, the exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, co-published by the AGO and DelMonico Books/D.A.P.

The AGO acquired its first work by the artist in 2020, a painting titled The Long Way Home, 2014-15.


ARTWORKS FROM THE EXHIBITION

Matthew Wong, Blue Night, Oil on canvas

Matthew Wong, Blue Night, 2018. Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 121.9 cm. © 2018 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Meanwhile..., Oil on canvas

Matthew Wong, Meanwhile..., 2018. Oil on canvas, 101.6 x 76.2 cm. © 2018 Matthew Wong Foundation /Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Starry Night, Oil on canvas

Matthew Wong, Starry Night, 2019. Oil on canvas, 152.4 x 177.8 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Autumn Nocturne, Oil on canvas

Matthew Wong, Autumn Nocturne, 2018. Oil on canvas, 121.9 x 182.9 cm. © 2018 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Untitled, Gouache on paper

Matthew Wong, Untitled, 2018. Gouache on paper, 22.9 x 30.5cm; framed: 39.4 x 47.3 cm. © 2018 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Untitled, Gouache and watercolor on paper

Matthew Wong, Untitled, 2019. Gouache and watercolor on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm; framed: 48.6 x 40.6 x 3 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Untitled, Gouache on paper

Matthew Wong, Untitled, 2019. Gouache on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm; framed: 48.6 x 40.6 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Untitled, Gouache on paper

Matthew Wong, Untitled, 2019. Gouache on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm; framed: 48.6 x 40.6 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong: Blue View artwork
Matthew Wong, Untitled, Gouache on paper

Matthew Wong, Untitled, 2019. Gouache on paper, 30.5 x 22.9 cm. © 2019 Matthew Wong Foundation. Image courtesy of Karma, New York.

Matthew Wong, Untitled

ARTIST OVERVIEW

Matthew Wong (b. Toronto, 1984 – d. Edmonton, 2019) was a self-taught painter. Over his brief but brilliant career, the artist was celebrated for his bravura paintings which evoke diverse art historical references and artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, Alex Katz and Peter Doig, among others. Wong was educated at The York School, Toronto, and received a degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA in photography from the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media. He found acclaim quickly after his works were included in group exhibitions in Hong Kong and China, and at Karma gallery in Amagansett, NY in 2016, in a show curated by Matthew Higgs. Along with his remarkable and rapid commercial success, Wong’s unique style has been lauded by prominent critics such as Roberta Smith of the The New York Times who called him “one of the most talented painters of his generation.”

Recent solo exhibitions include: ARCH Athens, Greece (2020); Karma, New York (2019); Massimo de Carlo, Hong Kong (2019); Karma, New York (2018); and the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (2015). Select Group exhibitions include: Andrew Edlin, New York (2020); Château Shatto, Los Angeles (2019); Performance Ski, Aspen, Colorado (2018); Aishti Foundation, Beirut (2018); Office Baroque, Brussels (2017); Galerie Frank Elbaz, Dallas (2017); and Gallery 1969, New York (2016), among others.

Wong’s works are held in international collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas;  Esteé Lauder Collection, New York; and Aïshti Foundation, Beirut. 

The AGO acquired its first work by the artist in 2020, a painting titled The Long Way Home, 2014–15. It was generously gifted by Monita and Raymond Wong in memory of their son.


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