Simchowitz Gallery is pleased to present Stretched, a solo exhibition of work by Deng Shiqing. This is the artist's first presentation with the gallery.
Deng Shiqing's uncanny canvases merge a contemporary, almost digitised sensibility with meticulous Old-Master technique. In this series, Shiqing presents women in various states of contemplation. Painted over lockdown, her characters exude an air of resignation. Does it matter what lies beyond her fantastical interiors? There is already so much to see inside. The artist captures a rare sense of interiority, where characters are at once familiar and foreign–new faces with such stirring, almost haunting expressions. Modelled after her friends, her women are regal and central, arms and legs often exposed as they sit and stretch and go about their quotidian routines.
Shiqing adorns these long-limbed bodies with geometric garments—comical cutouts that call forth frilly Renaissance collars or a court jester's uniform. In The Fight, the main figure's shirt appears to melt onto the table in a deliberately playful gesture while a cat paws through the air at her hair. The artist juxtaposes her stationary pose, staring quietly offstage, with chaotic movement. Even King Kong in a background poster is kicking up dust. Many works reference Shiqing's own habits and obsessions over the course of the past year, from binged television series to poor eating habits to internet memes and other mindless phenomena. The artist inserts these sly and covert references in every canvas, tongue in cheek strata that remind the viewer that there is always more to see each time you look.
Shiqing Deng is a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and received an MFA at the New York Academy of Fine Art. Her work has been exhibited at the Southampton arts centre, Elizabeth foundation for arts, flowers gallery and the National Museum of China in Beijing, as well as art fairs in New York and Miami.
Press release courtesy Simchowitz.