Huong Dodinh joins Pace Gallery
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Huong Dodinh joins Pace Gallery
Huong Dodinh, Untitled, 1992. Coated paper, mounted on wood panel, 138x197x5 cm.© Huong Dodinh, Courtesy the artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace announced worldwide representation of Huong Dodinh. Born in Vietnam in 1945 and now based in Paris, for nearly six decades Huong Dodinh has devoted her painting practice to three central tenets: clarity, density, and transparency. Her paintings explore the fluidity of line, form, and negative space to create elegant minimalist compositions. Inspired by classical dance, Dodinh places great importance on the rhythm and grace of her gestures as she paints freehand, allowing her forms to be an extension of her body in motion.

The French-Vietnamese painter will be presented this April by the Musei Civici di Venezia at Museo Correr, curated by Amin Jaffer and Hervé Mikaeloff, in parallel to the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Dodinh’s first exhibition at Pace is slated for 2023 in the gallery’s flagship Chelsea gallery in New York.

This exclusive representation of Dodinh comes at a vital moment for Pace as the gallery has continued to grow its European presence following the opening of an expanded space in London’s Hanover Square last fall, with a renewed focus on championing artists from the region and strengthening relationships with European museums and cultural institutions. Through its global network of galleries, the robust in-house imprint Pace Publishing, and Pace Live, a platform for live multidisciplinary programming, Pace looks forward to bringing Dodinh’s work to international audiences and creating further opportunities for exhibitions and critical discourse.

Valentina Volchkova, Vice President, Pace Gallery remarks: “Huong Dodinh’s exploration of light and purity within her work has a significant resonance with the Pace program, in particular through our involvement with artists associated with Light & Space, such as Mary Corse and James Turrell, and with the legacy of Minimalism. As we sought to expand our contemporary program in Europe, we discovered so much more about Huong’s practice in her show at the Musee Guimet in October, and could see just how she fits within our program in a unique and authentic way. We are thankful for this collaboration and look forward to celebrating our new relationship with Huong at her Museo Correr exhibition in Venice this month.”

Dodinh’s artistic spark was ignited when she saw snowfall for the first time while at school in the outskirts of Paris after her family fled the First Indochina War in Vietnam. This scene inspired close attention to the intimate relationship between colour and light. Indeed, the artist creates her own unique paints to achieve the precise quality of luminosity and pigment she envisions.

Dodinh’s practice draws significantly on her Southeast Asian identity. She likens her method of working to the act of meditation, approaching each painting with resolute discipline and working in silence as she clears her mind in order to translate her inner sense of self onto the canvas. Additionally, careful attention is placed on the materials used, selecting very fine-grained canvas to achieve a flexible and smooth finish. Over this, Dodinh layers numerous thin coats of her handmade paint, composed of mineral pigments she mixes herself, to create quasi-imperceptible tonal shifts that appear to at once absorb and reflect light. In this way, Dodinh imbues her paintings with a radiance and sense of depth while remaining entirely abstract.

For several years Dodinh chose to focus her attention solely on her work and rarely exhibited. It is only recently that her paintings have been shown, but in that short time her practice has been met with international critical acclaim. Dodinh’s abstract, minimalist work occupies a shared space in the history of art with several other artists that Pace represents, such as Jo Baer, Lee Ufan, Robert Mangold, and Agnes Martin.

The international art consultancy CMS, run by Joanna Chevalier, Hervé Mikaeloff, and Francois Sarkozy, have been instrumental in shining a light on Dodinh’s widely unknown work. In addition to the artist’s forthcoming presentation in Venice, they also spearheaded her recent major exhibition at the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet in Paris and included her as part of the 2021 edition of Asia Now. Pace will continue to honor the relationship with CMS in their shared representation of Dodinh.

Dodinh has received several prestigious awards and accolades including 1st Prize at the International Grand Prize for Painting in Cannes (1981) and the Silver Cross of Merit and French Dedication (1996).

Huong Dodinh was born in 1945 Soc Trang, in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Dodinh and her family were forced to flee their war torn home in 1953 and sought refuge in Paris, where the artist continues to live and work today. At a boarding school in Rambouillet, Dodinh witnessed snow for the first time, marvelling at the blending of land and sky. She calls this luminescent scene her artistic “epiphany” and it continues to inspire her painting. Dodinh studied at the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure de Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1965 to 1969, completing courses in a wide array of disciplines including engraving, lithography, frescoes, painting and architecture. During this time, Dodinh was deeply affected by the violence of the Vietnam War and the uprisings of May 1968. After a three-year break, Dodinh was able to return to her artistic practice with a newfound sense of freedom. In the decades that followed, Dodinh dedicated herself to painting, occasionally exhibiting in Paris and often encountering fellow artists based in France such as Peter Matisse, Joan Mitchell, and Lisa de Kooning. Dodinh is the recipient of several important awards and distinctions including, 1st Prize at the International Grand Prize for Painting in Cannes (1981), the Silver Cross of Merit and French Dedication (1996), and the Vice President Maison de la Culture d'Asie Orientale (1997).

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