Butterfly Kisses

Leon Xu

Leon Xu
Driving Really Fast #2
Acrylic and airbrush on canvas on board
22.625 × 25.375 inches
57.5 × 64.5 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
Same ole song and dance (Philly painting)
Acrylic and airbush on canvas and board
11.75 × 14.125 inches
35.9 × 29.8 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
A song 4 you
Acrylic and airbush on canvas on board
22 × 22 inches
55.9 × 55.9 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
No looking back
Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
28 × 32 inches
71.1 × 81.3 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
When will it end
Acrylic and airbrush on board
24 × 24 inches
61 × 61 centimeters
2021
Leon Xu
Driving really fucking fast (I love you so much)
Acrylic and airbrush on canvas on board
13.75 × 17.375 inches
44.1 × 34.9 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
Too much mist in the sun I just let it rain
Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
38 × 38 inches
96.5 × 96.5 centimeters
2020
Leon Xu
Butterfly Kisses
Acrylic and airbrush on linen
54 × 64 inches
137.2 × 162.6 centimeters

12 May–30 Jun 2021
Butterfly Kisses
Leon Xu

Press: Hype Art

 

Helena Anrather is pleased to present Butterfly Kisses, an exhibition of new paintings by Leon Xu. Drenched in light and rooted in time, Xu’s paintings combine soft layers of airbrush and acrylic to create an offering into a world simultaneously strange and deeply familiar. On view through June 30th, this is Xu’s first solo exhibition.

 

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Created primarily from memory, the paintings range in scale from large to intimate. The memory paintings are sometimes aided with reference images Xu takes on his iPhone camera, the now ubiquitous notebook. Xu is careful to differentiate between images designated to become paintings, and those that fulfill their duties as images. These carefully selected instances outline a protagonistic perspective of the recontextualization of time and space.

 

As Xu’s paintings vibrate between image and picture, they reflect on how our habits of observation evolve in solitude. The works depict meditative scenes of and from Xu’s car, a glistening blue 1989 Toyota Celica, a name derived from the Latin coelica meaning celestial or magnificent. The familiar landscapes provide a view into Xu’s world at once generic and specific — the curves of the dashboard, the sparkle in the rearview mirror, the pop of the headlights — and leave us with glimpses of Xu’s memory bank and reminds of us of our reliance on fractal images in the reconstruction of thought and lived experience. Memory becomes an emotional imprint rather than a cerebral reduction of a series of events.

 

Leon Xu was born in 1995 in Zongshan, China. He received a Bachelors of Fine art from University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate in Painting from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Xu was included in Issue 134 of New American Paintings, in 2018.