Tam Van Tran


copper, palm leaf, and cardboard on canvas
82 x 70 inches

Born in Vietnam and based in Los Angeles, Tam Van Tran often delves into the complexities of a life that must incorporate ideas, materials, and influences from multiple countries. Some of his recent of paintings conjure a sense of landscape through their physical presence and material choices. In Pop Explosion, delicate copper leaf flutters in the wind, reacting to the environment while also referencing traditional Asian gold-leafed screens. The palm leaf and cardboard come directly from the landscape of LA as found objects inherent to city life on the West Coast. The resulting work is a vibrating, shimmering surface that continues some of the painting and sculpture strategies set out by Robert Rauschenberg and the Arte Povera artists. Tran’s work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and he has had numerous international exhibitions, including Tam Van Tran: Psychonaut at the Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, and SubUrban: Tam Van Tran at the Knoxville Museum of Art. His work can be found in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Broad Collection, Santa Monica; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.