Matthew Wong: Postcards
An intimate clothbound volume compiling the exquisite postcard paintings of Matthew Wong
This fully illustrated volume collects Matthew Wong's small-scale postcard paintings made during the last year of his life in 2019. As Winnie Wong writes in her newly commissioned essay for the book, "Art critics have observed that Matthew Wong's landscapes are 'uncannily familiar, ' and they do prompt viewers to search our own memories, but he almost never titled them as places. Instead, he consistently named them as moments in time: midnight, 5:00am, dawn, daybreak, 12:30am, Autumn, Winter, the first snow, the gloaming, the moon rise ... For the postcard is a genre that seems to consciously elude a sense of stable locus, yet marks the times of our lives when we tried to grasp it. Matthew Wong painted at home, on the road, and in the studio. He spoke of the compulsion to finish each of his paintings in a single sitting, and talked of them always as process, rather than subject matter. Standing before paintings he finished years ago, he could recall every stroke and mark as if he had placed them just moments before."Matthew Wong (1984-2019) was a self-taught Canadian artist whose paintings evoke art historical precedents ranging Soutine and Van Gogh to abstract expressionism. His colorful, dappled vignettes of imaginary landscapes and half-remembered interiors have the uncanny ability to, in his words, "activate nostalgia, both personal and collective." Wong held his first American solo exhibition at Karma in March 2018, garnering reviews in the New York Times and the New Yorker, among others. His work is in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.
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About the Author
Winnie Wong is a historian of modern and contemporary art and visual culture, with a special interest in fakes, forgeries, frauds, copies, counterfeits, and other non-art challenges to authorship and originality. Her research is based in the southern Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and her writing engages with Chinese and Western aesthetics, anthropology, intellectual property law, and popular culture. She is the author of Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade (University of Chicago Press, 2014), which was awarded the Joseph Levenson Book Prize in 2015. Her articles have appeared in positions: asia critiques, the Journal of Visual Culture, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and she has written for Omagiu, Third Text Asia, and Artforum. Her work has been translated into Portuguese, Romanian, and Japanese. Her research has been supported with grants from the ACLS, SSRC, CLIR, Harvard Milton Fund, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Winnie was a Senior Fellow at Dartmouth College, and received her SMArchS and PhD in History, Theory and Criticism from MIT. She was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows (2010-2013). She is currently associate professor of Rhetoric and History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley.