This publication accompanies the exhibition Painting is Forbidden, organized by the students of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Martin Wong: Painting is Forbidden is a solo exhibition dedicated to the work of Chinese-American artist Martin Wong (1946-1999), and encompassing writing, calligraphy, drawing, ceramics, theatrical set design, painting, poetry, and collage.
The exhibition’s title is taken from the following passage in his journals:
Wong is known primarily for the paintings he produced while operating in the dynamic subcultures of the Nuyorican poets and graffiti artists of 1970s and 1980s New York City. Prior to this interlude in his life, Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied in Eureka, California, had already produced a wild and curious body of work. He was a prolific poet and ceramicist, a psychedelic painter, an artistic collaborator in the radical communal theater of the Angels of Light, and a self-described “Human Instamatic.”
"Painting is forbidden. The joys and pleasures of being a painter are almost identical to those of being a serial killer: the solitary quest, the thrill of the hunt, the compulsion of trying to complete an imaginary set, to live totally in the imagination, the suspense, the urgency, and finally the uncontrollable spasms…"
This publication contains black and white reproductions of Wong's drawings, hand written notes, and photographs.
Edited by Caitlin Burkhart and Julian Myers-Szupinska. Designed by Jon Sueda / Stripe SF
Paperback, black and white, 139 pages, 6" x 9", 2015