WEEKEND is pleased to present Syncopated Wilderness , an exhibition of paintings and sculptural works by St. Louis based artist Tuan Nguyen. This will be Nguyen's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Works in the show vary from the abstract to trompe l'oeil surfaces as well as representational forms constructed entirely of paint.

Drawing from a vast repository of cultural and historical imagery laden with the memory of personal experience, Nguyen makes manifest the psyche's reorganization of one's experience of this imagery. Thus, a figure, lush in its tactile surface, stands boldly before a flattened and graphic ground as if memory had placed observation squarely on the form, its recreation and verisimilitude analogous to personal prejudice. One might imagine the figure emerged from the painting to land squarely on the wooden plinth.

Nguyen approaches the conceptual and the material with equal attention. In the work, Dreaming Table , Nguyen places a trompe l'oeil seashell, reminiscent of his childhood growing up near Cocoa Beach, Florida, next to a small canvas with an actual tear in the surface. Beneath the tear lies more trompe l'oeil imagery.   The resulting effect is simultaneously familiar and dissonant.

Like the forms comprised of layers of paint, one may find layers of meanings embedded in the works, meanings that contradict, displace, and collapse. The experience of which leads one to ask: what is an image, how do we explain our relationship to this imagery, and finally, what is real?


Tuan Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1972 and currently lives and works in St. Louis, MO.   He received his MFA in Painting from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.   He has exhibited his work nationally in Los Angeles, NYC, St. Louis and Seattle. In addition to his practice, Nguyen is currently the Education Manager at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and previously was the Director of Visual Arts at Millstone Gallery at the Center for Creative Arts in St. Louis, MO.






March 15th - April 7th, 2013

Opening Reception: March 15th, 7-10pm