Otto, Blue Ridge Mountains, 2021, oil on linen, 15 x 17 inches
Black Madonna, 2021, oil on linen, 18 x 24 inches
Mount Gretna #1, 2021, oil on panel, 15 x 17 inches
Poetree #1, 2021, oil on linen, 36 x 36 inches
Poetree #2, 2021, oil on linen, 36 x 36 inches
Wintry Land, 2021, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
Sunlit, Cranberry Island, 2019, oil on canvas, 11.25 x 17.75 inches
Kiss of Daffodils, 2020, oil on linen, 20.5 x 11 inches
Autumn Blossoms, oil on linen, 48 x 36 inches
Pond, 2021, oil on linen, 70 x 30 inches
Fort George River, 2022, oil on canvas, 18.5 x 19 inches
Ying Li works from perception, almost always on site. Her mark making is fast then slow, gentle, furious, insistent here, quiet there. Her use of color describes the world around us, its fragrance and shape, the weight of the air or light on a leaf. Holding it all together is a rigor that speaks to decades of painting, and a discipline that goes back to her academic training in Communist China following the Cultural Revolution.
“What Li does is seamlessly merge structure and improvisation in the treatment of her subjects, which are rural landscapes — fields, mountains, rivers, and trees. The paint is applied thick with all kinds of instruments, from different-sized brushes to direct squeezes from the tube. The surfaces are built as dense as stucco. A wide sweep of striated paint moving across the surface reveals its inner colors, like a roughly surfaced stone,” (John Yau, Hyperallergic, 2020).
Ying emigrated to the United States in the early 1980’s and completed her graduate degree (MFA) at Parsons School of Design. She has held the post of Professor of Fine Arts and Department Chair at Haverford College since 1997. She has shown nationally and internationally, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia, PA; the Jaffe Friede Gallery at Dartmouth College, and the Centro Incontri Umni, Ascona, Switzerand. Li is also the recipient of the Aspen Institute Scholarship, The Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation Grant, Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Grant, among many others. Residencies take the artist around the globe and she has painted mountaintops from Telluride to the Sierras of Almeria Province. Li’s work has been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, New York Press, Cover, Artcricital, Abstract Art on Line, Painter’s Table, Hyperallergic, and Morbihan France.