Coming in March
The title of our spring show, 2 Leafs, refers to Las Vegas artists, Bill and Gwaylon Leaf. They are first and second Chinese generation immigrants. Bill, the father, signs his work with the Chinese name “Yehp, Yeuon Gayh” and gave his son the Chinese name Gwaylon Yehp to retain the presence of their culture in America. Bill is a retired educator at the University of Las Vegas; his son hopes to enter graduate school next fall.
Both artists’ images draw poetic elements from Bill’s culture of origin. This is evident from the titles of their series’ of works, Bill’s Celestial Embroidery and Gwaylon’s Light Writing. Both use calligraphic mark-making, which can appear deliberately random or reminiscent of ancient Chinese script, a stylistic tie with Taoist philosophy.
Each has a keen sense of space. Bill’s backgrounds look like the sky or celestial heavens. Some of his free-floating forms are colored with gold leaf. These surfaces reflect light off the canvas, creating illusive levels of depth.
Gwaylon’s works are prints, with paints that he specially formulated to create interesting iridescent effects and a striking sense of spatial shift between layers of forms. They also appear to reference calligraphy and are arranged in loosely structured patterns that overlap each other with striking color changes. While many people are familiar with traditional Chinese landscape painting as seen on a scroll or screen, this group of works pushes Chinese tradition toward a modernist direction with the grid.
The show will open with receptions during the March 3, First Friday Art Walk. 5-8 pm. Other receptions will be held on April 7 and May 5, 2017, during those Art Walks. The Leafs will attend the April 7th reception.