SoHo Weekly News • January 24, 1974

Li-lan at James Yu Gallery
Peter Frank
Soho Weekly News
January 24, 1974
Two Yellow Sketchbooks – 1973
The motifs in Li-lan’s paintings downstairs at Yu include eggs, cups, notebooks, and pieces of paper, related in complex spatial arrangements which force the viewer to examine the exact level of reality on which each is located.  An egg appears on the surface of the canvas, beside a notebook bearing a rendition, once removed as it were, of more eggs.  A piece of paper is nailed to an indistinct surface (usually a lovely light blue, like sky – further complexity of space and meaning), newar a notebook on which is another nailed paper – nailed to the picture surface? to the notebook? just painted (drawn) as such on the notebook, trompe-l’oeil?  Making matters more bizarre, those objects which cast shadows cast them in conflicting directions, as if they each could choose their own sun to bask in.