Over a decade ago, when our daughter Whitney was attending Carnegie Mellon University, she gave us a tour of the artsy side of Pittsburgh. We went to a glass blowing factory, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden, and several contemporary art galleries. The minute Eliot and I walked into the Michael Berger Gallery, we saw a triptych that we fell in love with. It totally wasn’t the style we usually pick. There was just something about the colors on these paintings that were so brilliant, we just felt completely energized.
We bought them on the spot, shipped them home, hung them in our New York dining room, and went on with our lives. Two years ago, we were walking through Art Basel Miami and spotted a series of paintings in the Nancy Hoffman Gallery area that looked just like the one we had at home.
Nancy Hoffman told us that Hung Liu was now considered the greatest Chinese painter in the United States because of her connection to the culture and history of China. While she was born in Changhun China in 1948, she spent most of her adult life in Oakland, California where she heads up the art department at Mills College. Her paintings are exhibited in the finest galleries all over the U.S., as well as the top museums in more than twenty cities.
Nancy has kept us up to date on Hung Liu’s progress through email blasts and Facebook. A few weeks ago, we received an email notification that the Nancy Hoffman Gallery was going to have a showing of Hung Liu’s new work. Eliot and I agreed we would go, hoping to meet the artist herself.
We did. We met Hung and her writer husband, Jeff Kelly. We found out that the paintings we own are some of the more important pieces that account for her notoriety. Liu is known for her large, drippy oil paintings of Chinese historical photographs, many of which are of young prostitutes or war refugees.
Thanks to Google, Facebook, and email, we will be closely watching the career of Hung Liu.