Inspired by the natural world, Marlene T. Yu (born 1937) creates monumental canvases using energetic brushstrokes and vibrant colors. Born in Taiwan and trained in Chinese brush painting as well as academic drawing, Yu came to the United States in 1963, where she was exposed to Abstract Expressionism. For over fifty years, the artist has synthesized Eastern and Western traditions to create immersive abstractions that evoke the power and beauty of nature.
The beauty of the universe changes with time. As the days pass and the seasons change, the sky, earth, mountains and rivers repeat in patterns that are never really quite the same. In my search for the variations of the many faces in nature, I have found that nature provides an infinite source of inspiration for artistic expression. I love the many elements in our environment, be they as broad as the horizon beyond or small as cells under the microscope. In this vast setting, I hope to capture the spirit of the universe, its rhythm and movements, its quiet and angry moods, its colors and forms…
With the traditional Chinese and Western art training, together with my own experiments, I have sought to create techniques that can fully express my ideas and feelings. The techniques may vary greatly from painting to painting, as to embody the scope of my expression. The reference to nature is the focus of all my paintings. I have found that painting in water media – acrylic demands an absolute control of the medium to achieve the various effects, textures, and transparencies. The scale of the painting is a challenge, but not a limitation for me. To produce on canvas or paper what I have in my mind, my ideas and feelings on the universe, is a great challenge.
Marlene Tseng Yu, September 16, 1968