LAUNCH LA GALLERY
Xi Hou’s abstract paintings are redolent of nature, light, and their interaction. Composed of myriad fluid segments, lines and color areas that interlock like jigsaw puzzle pieces but are shaped like raindrops and aqueous reflections, these canvases embody the vitality of the natural world without seeking either to depict it directly or to reduce it to symbols. Hou grounds her approach in a visual formula, using wandering lines—often “drawn” as raised edges on the canvas surface—to determine adjacent irregularly formed areas that contain contrasting colors. Hou frequently runs the same color across several discretely drawn areas: such discontinuity of patterning throws off the formulaic nature of her approach—emphasizing not so much her artistic intervention in nature as the apparently inconsistent but ultimately superior logic of nature itself. As a result, what could otherwise have been (and may at first even seem like) a simplistic method of generating pretty images becomes an engagingly lyrical way of thinking about light and color, another coherent way of seeing the world. Hou devoted one wall of her exhibition to expressing her environmental concerns through more obvious references, even covering the wall with false grass; but the eloquence of her regard for nature rests squarely in her painting, scintillating and yet meditative as it is.