In this painting, two museum visitors share an exchange in front of Phillip Guston’s painting Couple in Bed (1977). The female visitor’s pants and shoes mirror the signature pinks and reds in Guston's oeuvre, seemingly asking: “Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?”
C. Meng's most recent paintings are fantastic assemblages that explore the mystery of the art form. These works are reinterpretations of the world that often combine art historical images or contemporary cultural scenes with characters and situations from the artist's own imagination. Disassociating a picture from its original context sparks Meng’s curiosity about the intrinsic meaning in visual representation—and ultimately the meaning of painting.
Living between the United States and China since the 1970s, Meng’s dichotomous cultural experience informs his work’s fusion of Eastern and Western artistic sensibilities. The artist employs soft calligraphic gestures on top of broad and abstracted brushstrokes, displaying a mastery of both loose and precise mark-making. Meng’s elegant and expressive genre paintings use simple lines and notations to convey scenes from the artist’s daily life and travels—from Chinese street market scenes to European museum interiors.
C. Meng was born in Shanghai in 1954. The artist received a BA from Shanghai Normal University in Shanghai, China in 1978 and an MFA from Miami University in Miami, Florida in 1988. Meng was an assistant professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and Senior Lecturer at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Exhibitions of Meng’s work have taken place at: Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami Beach, Florida; the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas; Grey Art Gallery at New York University in New York City; the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, China; and the Art Gallery at University of Catolica in Santiago, Chile.
Meng’s work has been included in the permanent collections of: the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas; the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia; the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, Texas; the Miami Art Museum at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; and the People’s Bank in Bridgewater, Connecticut.
Meng has received the following awards: the National Endowment for the Arts (Mid-America); Art Matters in New York City; and the National Foundation for the Advancement in Arts in Miami, Florida.
Meng lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts and Shanghai, China.
In this painting, two museum visitors share an exchange in front of Phillip Guston’s painting "Couple in Bed" (1977). The female visitor’s pants and shoes mirror the signature pinks and reds in Guston's oeuvre, seemingly asking: “Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?”More