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Ying Li

Blossoms in a Sudden Strangeness II

September 1 - 30, 2021

Selected Works Thumbnails
April Leaves  12" x 9"  Oil On Panel

April Leaves

12" x 9"

Oil On Panel

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Bouquet As A Peacock  48" x 36"  Oil On Linen

Bouquet As A Peacock

48" x 36"

Oil On Linen

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By The Nature Trail  14" x 10"  Mixed Media On Paper

By The Nature Trail

10" x 14"

Mixed Media On Paper

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Cherry Trees Of The Duck Pond  30" x 40"  Oil On Linen

Cherry Trees Of The Duck Pond

30" x 40"

Oil On Linen

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Duck Pond #2  30" x 40"  Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #2

30" x 40"

Oil On Linen

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Duck Pond #3 (Autumn)  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #3 (Autumn)

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

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Lonesome Tulip  14" x 10"  Mixed Media On Paper

Lonesome Tulip

14" x 10"

Mixed Media On Paper

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March Of The Daffodils  36" x 36"  Oil On Linen

March Of The Daffodils

36" x 36"

Oil On Linen

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Pink As The Peonies  36" x 24"  Oil On Linen

Pink As The Peonies

36" x 24"

Oil On Linen

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Red Oak #6  12" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Oak #6

12" x 16"

Oil On Linen

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Red Tulip #2  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #2

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

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Red Tulip #3  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #3

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

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Shower Of The Roses  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

Shower Of The Roses

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

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South Wyoming Street  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

South Wyoming Street

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

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South Wyoming Street II  11" x 15"  Mixed Media On Paper

South Wyoming Street II

11" x 15"

Mixed Media On Paper

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Sunset Over The Duck Pond  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Sunset Over The Duck Pond 

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

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Tulip #3  15" x 11"  Mixed Media On Paper

Tulip #3

15" x 11"

Mixed Media On Paper

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Wild Flowers Of The Lockdown #2  15" x 11"  Mixed Media On Paper

Wild Flowers Of The Lockdown #2

15" x 11"

Mixed Media On Paper

Inquire
April Leaves  12" x 9"  Oil On Panel

April Leaves

12" x 9"

Oil On Panel

Bouquet As A Peacock  48" x 36"  Oil On Linen

Bouquet As A Peacock

48" x 36"

Oil On Linen

By The Nature Trail  14" x 10"  Mixed Media On Paper

By The Nature Trail

10" x 14"

Mixed Media On Paper

Cherry Trees Of The Duck Pond  30" x 40"  Oil On Linen

Cherry Trees Of The Duck Pond

30" x 40"

Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #2  30" x 40"  Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #2

30" x 40"

Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #3 (Autumn)  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

Duck Pond #3 (Autumn)

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

Lonesome Tulip  14" x 10"  Mixed Media On Paper

Lonesome Tulip

14" x 10"

Mixed Media On Paper

March Of The Daffodils  36" x 36"  Oil On Linen

March Of The Daffodils

36" x 36"

Oil On Linen

Pink As The Peonies  36" x 24"  Oil On Linen

Pink As The Peonies

36" x 24"

Oil On Linen

Red Oak #6  12" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Oak #6

12" x 16"

Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #2  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #2

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #3  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Red Tulip #3

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

Shower Of The Roses  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

Shower Of The Roses

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

South Wyoming Street  36" x 48"  Oil On Linen

South Wyoming Street

36" x 48"

Oil On Linen

South Wyoming Street II  11" x 15"  Mixed Media On Paper

South Wyoming Street II

11" x 15"

Mixed Media On Paper

Sunset Over The Duck Pond  20" x 16"  Oil On Linen

Sunset Over The Duck Pond 

20" x 16"

Oil On Linen

Tulip #3  15" x 11"  Mixed Media On Paper

Tulip #3

15" x 11"

Mixed Media On Paper

Wild Flowers Of The Lockdown #2  15" x 11"  Mixed Media On Paper

Wild Flowers Of The Lockdown #2

15" x 11"

Mixed Media On Paper

Bouquet As A Peacock, 48" x 36", Oil On Linen

Bouquet As A Peacock, 48" x 36", Oil On Linen

“In early March 2020, Haverford College, like educational institutions throughout the country, closed its campus to visitors and moved classes online in order to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the months that followed, Ying Li, the Phlyssa Koshland professor in Fine Arts at Haverford, responded to the crisis with astonishing and prolific creativity. Comprising 47 paintings created in just five months, Blossoms in a Sudden Strangeness reflects a profound aesthetic discipline. Li began each painting through closely observing subjects she discovered in or near her apartment on Haverford’s campus, such as the view from her porch or cherry trees in bloom. Responding to beauty and ephemerality in nature, she abstracts and reworks each composition until her expressive gestures and densely layered surfaces convey the complexity of her observations over time. Reveling in possibility, she adds, spreads, and scrapes away paint, creating relief-like topographies. Amid the ‘sudden strangeness’ of the pandemic, Li was fortunate to safely remain on campus, taking inspiration from flora and fauna that have fascinated her for more than 25 years.

 

Li’s creative resilience is rooted in her past experiences with cultural upheaval and personal hardship. To understand her tireless work ethic and vibrant curiosity, it is helpful to consider her upbringing, training, and artistic evolution. Born in Beijing, China, Li came of age during the so-called ‘Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution’ (1965–77). In 1967, her father, a scholar of Russian literature, was arrested and accused of counter-revolutionary activity. At the age of sixteen, Ying was separated from her parents and sister and forced to labor and be ‘re-educated’ for five and a half years on rural farmland in Anhui Province. Like many others, she suffered from food scarcity. Occasionally, she was required to create propaganda posters and murals and to paint in the socialist realist style. Undeterred, she used some of the supplies issued by the state for propaganda to practice painting in Western styles and to explore her own aesthetic.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and interrelated environmental and political crises, Li continues to paint with both existential urgency and verve. Celebrating the restorative power of beauty, she models qualities we need now, more than ever, not the least of which are empathy, intellectual curiosity, and resilience.”

 

- Andrea Packard, Mixed-Media Artist and Curator

Sunset Over The Duck Pond (Detail), 20" x 16", Oil On Linen

Sunset Over The Duck Pond (Detail), 20" x 16", Oil On Linen

This exhibition is the second iteration of Blossoms in A Sudden Strangeness. The first was held on Haverford’s campus in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery from September 22 - November 13, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition posted reduced hours that prohibited outside visitors.

Gross McCleaf Gallery is pleased to offer another opportunity for these, as well as additional new works, to be exhibited together.

 

Shower Of The Roses, 36" x 48", Oil On Linen

Shower Of The Roses, 36" x 48", Oil On Linen

Ying Li has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries across the United States and internationally. Her works have also been included in group exhibitions in galleries and museums including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The National Academy Museum, and Hood Museum of Art. In the summer of 2021, Li exhibited her work alongside Lois Dodd in a two-person exhibition at Rosyendpost Gallery in Greenport, New York.

Li is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Henry Ward Ranger Fund Purchase Award, Edwin Palmer Memorial Prize for painting from the National Academy Museum, and many more. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post and Hyperallergic.com. She is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery and lives and works in the Philadelphia and New York City areas.

 

March Of The Daffodils, 36" x 36", Oil On Linen

March Of The Daffodils, 36" x 36", Oil On Linen