Matthew Wong’s Blue


5:00 PM, 2019 oil on canvas 48 × 36 inches
Images courtesy the artist the Karma

The sky is blue, but this is perhaps one of the only occurrences of that hue in nature. Scant in flora in fauna, it punctuates the natural world only sporadically; to alert us of venom (poison arrow frog), portals to magic (psilocybin), or ostentation (birds-of-paradise). Blue is rare. Precious even, arguably best-suited to describing our moods. Some might say to be blue is to be sad, but it is also to be moved. Matthew Wong sought to explore the “blueness of blue,” symbolically and literally, through his exhibition, Blue, on view now at Karma. Its fluidity, its affect, and its uncanny ability to “activate nostalgia, both personal and collective,” Wong renders blue moments—repose, speculation, longing, gloom, hope—in various shades of blue, imparting memories for moments we cannot recognize, yet seem altogether too familiar. A resonating legacy of color, of what it means to be blue. – Rebecca Storm

This exhibition will be the first public display of Matthew Wong’s work since his death in October earlier this year. Every detail of Blue was conceived of by Wong and proceeds according to his wishes.

Path to the Sea, 2019 oil on canvas, 80 × 70 inches

Installation view

Blue Night, 2018 oil on canvas, 60 × 48 inches

Untitled, 2019 gouache on paper 12 × 9 inches

Untitled, 2018 gouache on paper 9 × 12 inches

Untitled, 2018 gouache on paper 9 × 12 inches

Installation view

Meanwhile…, 2018 oil on canvas, 40 × 30 inches

A Dream, 2019 oil on canvas 70 × 80 inches

Matthew Wong’s Blue is on view until January 5th at KARMA, New York.
See our feature on Matthew written by Darby Milbrath here