Harper’s is pleased to present London-based artist Tanya Ling’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Let it come to me, showcasing a new body of work that Ling created earlier this year as an artist-in-residence at The Carriage Hall, Covent Garden, London. Harper’s East Hampton is open to the public daily from 10am to 6pm.
In Let it come to me, Ling presents a series of paintings made simultaneously in the same studio, informing one another throughout a six-month-long process. Created while hung in rotating orientations, Ling’s paintings are marked by fluid gestures and bold palettes that internalize a fragment of time or a piece of herself. Each work is an excerpt of Ling’s instinctive ability to produce endless variations and possibilities as part of an ongoing effort to connect with the eternal.
The concept of dimensional space is at once pronounced and rejected in Ling’s abstract fields, which can read broadly as a topographical map or, microscopically, as a network of fibers, wires, and veins. Saturated bands sweep across and weave through the surface of the paintings, creating a depth of field that draws the viewer in with repetition that recalls fractal geometry. Radiating from a multitude of focal points, a cacophony of colors overcomes the canvases in the manner of sensorially magnified states that exist in contradiction, like drowning and floating at once.
In a nod to Ling’s fond memories of listening to The Odyssey with one of her daughters while in lockdown, all the works in the exhibition are titled after constellations associated with Greek mythology. Each painting displays an array of hues that synchronizes with Ling’s mark-making to evoke facets of her unique ethos, having spent her childhood in the United States, India, Nigeria, and England. Just as constellations become maps of the infinite starscape, Ling’s paintings are legends to the landscape of her psyche.
For Ling, freedom is found in the balance between a state of anarchy and control, and her paintings display an athleticism that leaps between both states. The resulting compositions are a rhythmic poetry of visual cues that conjure the work of Philip Glass, as if converting a sound into line, or vice versa, creating sound from a line. While each of Ling’s works are born from a rich context of memory, art, literature, and music, she confronts the preciousness of each piece with an intuition that lets the painting come to her.
Tanya Ling (b. 1966, Calcutta, IN) received a degree from Central Saint Martins, London in 1989 prior to a career in the Parisian fashion industry. Upon her return to the UK, Ling, along with her husband William, opened the contemporary art gallery Bipasha Ghosh; in 1996 she produced her first exhibition of drawings in artist Gavin Turk’s studio on the Charing Cross Road, London. Most recently, her work has been exhibited at Mayor Gallery, London (2018); Newport Street Gallery, London (2017); and Darbyshire Framemakers, London (2015). Over 50 of Ling’s works have been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum Prints and Drawings collection, in addition to a collection of paintings and sculptures acquired by Damien Hirst’s Murderme collection. Ling currently lives and works in London.