J.A Feng: The Sticky Grid

14 May - 18 June 2022

Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present “The Sticky Grid,” an exhibition of new works by New York-based artist, J.A Feng. Feng’s works explore personal mythology with vibrant color, humor, and vulnerability.


In J.A Feng’s works, paint is steeped with visual and symbolic prompts. It is driven by a profound need to find meaning by relating the universal everyday experience to a larger whole in the form of origin stories. The countless number of sittings spent working on each piece allows for numerous ideas to filter through over time, and for metaphorical and literal layers to evolve. Informed by poetry, world events, dreams, objects and non-rational observations from her everyday surroundings, the painting becomes a time capsule, infused with imagery and reflective of the transformative emotional journey from her respective period of lived experience. Working in an additive process by building and amending color and imagery in layers, the artist walks a delicate line between specificity and ambiguity in her paintings, leaving interpretation open to the viewer. Her additive excavations for meaning are evident in the resultant surface and physicality of paint.


Feng utilizes the recognizability and relatability of “cosmic, primal and cartoonish” forms in order to create poetic representations of human tenderness, vulnerability, and triumph. Loaded figurative gestures can read anywhere between tender and benevolent, or slapstick and ham-fisted. Space is also just as potent as the form it exists around; her interest in the interconnectedness of all things is reflected in the way space and form appear atmospheric, permeable, and often dissolving into one another. By exploring and portraying the parallels and patterns between microscopic and macroscopic subject matter, relatively speaking, she thus collapses the divide between them, resulting in an ambiguous sense of scale.  Through this interaction between nature and the body, she emphasizes “the terror and pleasure that is the sublime.” 


Powerfully colorful and textural, Feng’s deliberate intermingling of bright candy colors and dark moody hues is used to give a sense of emotional complexity and a psychologically charged quality to her paintings. Weaving interconnected narratives, Feng creates worlds within worlds. 


J.A Feng (b. 1982, Champaign, IL) received a BFA from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL) and an MFA from Boston University (Boston, MA). Upcoming solo exhibitions include Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) May 14- June 18, 2022. J.A. Feng’s work was recently subject of a solo exhibition with 12.26 Gallery (Dallas, TX) in the spring of 2020. Feng’s works have been included in solo and group exhibitions at Craig Krull Gallery (Los Angeles, CA); NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY); Agency Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); Centotto Gallery (Brooklyn, NY); Gallery Korea of the Korean Cultural Center (New York, NY); Commonwealth Gallery (Boston, MA); Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College (Boston, MA); and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Madison, ME). Her work has been featured in publications such as 7x7 and Outback Arthouse. Feng lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


J.A Feng’s exhibition is on view at the gallery May 14 through June 18, 2022.


Philip Martin Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10-4 and by appointment. For additional images, or information please email info@philipmartingallery.com, or call 310-559-0100. Philip Martin Gallery is located at 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034 in the Culver City area of Los Angeles between Venice Blvd. and Washington Blvd., just south of the 10 Freeway.