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Shen Chen


Shen Chen

Born in China in 1955, Shen Chen is a New York based artist. He began his art education in high school and continued his training at Shanghai Art College. He moved to Beijing after earning his BFA from the Shanghai Academy of Theater in 1982. In 1988, he came to the United States on a fellowship as artist in residence and continued his studies at Boston University on an MFA scholarship the following year. He has lived in New York since 1991.

Shen Chen recapitulates the meditative and deliberative brushwork associated with traditional Chinese ink brush painting. His vernacular, however, is contemporary. His fully abstract paintings are a study in line, color, and tonality, and reference the aesthetic of 1960’s minimalism. To create his subtle umbre surfaces, Shen paints with a wide variety of traditional Chinese brushes. Working with the canvas on the studio floor, he layers the surface by moving progressively top down, in a vertical motion. The discrete horizontal lines visible on the surface are a record of where each vertical brushstroke began and stopped. It is this meticulous layering of color that achieves the resonant tonal hues of his paintings, and which also manifests his rigorous discipline in how it supported by breath.

His works have been exhibited at various art museums, including National Art Museum of China, Roma Academy of Fine Arts, Today Art Museum, Queens Museum of Art, and Bochum Museum. His works are in many public and private collections including ME Room Collection(Germany), Aszo Nobel Art Foundation(Netherland), Duke Energy Corporation(USA), Johnson & Johnson Foudation(USA), Today Art Museum(China), etc.