It’s Halloween eve and the Walter Randel Gallery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan is abuzz with a steady stream of visitors congratulating glass artist and painter Arlan Huang on MOST VIOLET, his first solo exhibition of larger than life canvases, spanning 2003-2008, currently on view at the gallery through December 6. Looking resplendent in his grey suit and tie, Huang himself affirms, “These paintings dwell in the abstract sublime, and for one brilliant moment, life becomes crystal clear. This is why I paint.”
The exhibition also includes a part of his ongoing life project ironically called A Day’s Work, glass stones originally created as a memorial to his Chinese-born grandfather which are sequentially numbered, both to mark the passage of time in his own life and as a gesture of commitment to art as a story unfolding.” Eventually, the artist intends to make 10,000 glass stones; to date, he has completed 1337.
His permanent public commissions in glass in New York City include Suddenly Laughter: Reflections from Within a Zen Rock Garden at the Jacobi Medical Center, American Origins at P.S. 152, and Wall of Honor for the Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (in progress). If these works in glass demonstrate the artist’s cooperative and collegial spirit, the distinctive paintings presented in this exhibition afford a privileged view of the more personal side of his creative focus.