Cheryl McGinnis Gallery
Gallery Artists Lin Yan


​​LinYan, born to a distinguished family of artists, grew up in Beijing and left China in 1985 before China’s modernization. She followed her grandfather and mother’s footsteps to Paris continuing her studies in art and came to United States in 1986. Her first solo show “Tai Chi in Painting” at her graduate school in Pennsylvania infused Chinese philosophy into her own “constructing paintings.”


In 1993, she moved to New York with her painter husband and their young son. Taoist thought remain in her life and art. She seeks the simplest possible use of elements in her work. Though her forms are quite minimal and mostly quiet, they are filled with complex impulses and nuances. The foundation of LinYan’s large sculptural paper collage is a variety of hand-made paper which has been used for Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy. The crumbled layers of soft handmade papers with ink create a paradoxical affect of strong, post-industrial feeling. Inspired by old Beijing architecture in her memory and industrial elements in her Brooklyn home, LinYan blur boundaries, embrace conflict, bring histories, past and present together. Aware of the struggle and resistance in the world, she balances this restlessness with the tranquility of her materials. Her images investigate the interrelation of Chinese traditional painting and modernist abstraction, and postmodern appropriation and ancient technical rigor.


LinYan’s works have been widely shown in the galleries and museums, included in recent exhibitions at Museum of Chinese American in America in New York, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, Dresden State Art Collections in Germany, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum in China; reviewed and featured in New York Times, Art News, Art in America, Art Asia Pacific, Architecture and Art, Elle China, Women of China, World Journal and CCTV, among others. Her works are in public collection of  the National Art Museum of China, the Pang Xunqin Museum, the Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, the Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Art in China and Deutsche Bank Art.

 Born in Beijing, China Lives and works in New York and Beijing EDUCATION 1986 -1989 M. A. in Studio Art, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA, US 1985 -1986 Atelier of Technique of Painting, L’École national supérieur des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France 1980-1984 B. F. A. in Department of Oil Painting, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 2008 Touched by Women’s Hands, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, New York, NY 2007 Flow, Miami International Art Fair. Amy Simon Gallery, Miami, FL, US 2007 1st Asian Contemporary Art Fair, Pier 92, Booth C-38, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, New York 2007 3rd ChengDu Biennial, Sichuan, China. (Catalog) 2007 Echoes & Reflections, China Square, NYC 2007 Responding & Corresponding - Chinese and American artists, National Art Museum of China (catalog) 2007 In and Out, 2x13 Gallery, NYC 2007 Summer Rotation 2007, a revolving, evolving exhibition, Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT 2007 Language / Environment - German and Chinese Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing and 
 Raab Gallery. (Catalog) 2007 – 2008 Qi Yun - International traveling exhibition of Chinese Abstract Art (catalog) OCT Contemporary Art Terminal of He Xiangning Art Museum, Shen Zhen Beijing Now (XianZhai) Gallery, Beijing Hanart T Z Gallery, Artist Commune, Hong Kong China Square, NYC 2007 Translucent, Transparent, Transported, Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, NY 2007 Paintings and Drawings by Lin Yan, Wei Jia, Wenda Gu, Zeng Xiaojun and Chi Xiaoqing, China 2000 Fine Art, NY, NY 2006 Visible Invisible, One Moon Contemporary, Beijing, China. (Catalog) 2006 Contemporary Chinese Visions, Amy Simon Fine Art, CT 2006 Curators’ Choice: China, Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA 2006 Transplant, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY 2006 Travelers Between Cultures - Xu Bin, WenDa Gu, Lin Yilin, Lin Yan and Zhang Hongtu. Visual Arts 
 Center of New Jersey, NJ. (Catalog) 2006 Solo Show: Lin Yan – Echoes in the Moment, China 2000 Fine Art, NY. (Catalog) 2006 Trans-Boundary Experiences, Spool MFG, Binghamton, NY 2006 Brooklyn, Westport Arts Center, CT 2006 New Chinese Occidentalism – Chinese Contemporary Art in New York, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, NY, 
 NY. (Catalog) 1991 Solo Show: The Beginning - Lin Yan, Twin Cranes Gallery, Seattle, WA 1988 Solo Show: Lin Yan – Tai Chi in Painting, Haas Gallery, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA 1985 National Youth Art Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Beijing, China 1984 Beijing City Art Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Beijing, China 1979 First Annual Exhibition of China Oil Painting Association, Zhongshan Park, Beijing, China CURATORIAL WORK 2007 Touched by Women’s Hands, Flushing Council of Culture and the Arts, Queens, NY 2005* Lin Yan – Drawings and Paintings, Shen Chen – Recent Paintings, Crystal Foundation Gallery, NY 2003* The Paper Chase – Creations in Paper by Contemporary Chinese Artists, China 2000 Fine Art, NYC 2002* Visual Dialogue – Chinese American Artists in New York, China 2000 Fine Art, NYC 2002 Contemporary Brush Strokes – Xu Bing, HongTu Zhang, Wei Jia, JianJun Zhang, WenYi Hou, China 2000 Fine Art, NYC 2000* Art Span - Three generations, nine artists in one family, (Satellite show of Shanghai Biennial), China 1998* Three Generations of Chinese Modernism Gallery, SoHo, NYC, USA National Museum of Art, Beijing, China Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver, Canada 1994* Qi - Recent Works by Lin Yan and Xie Dong Ming, Gallery of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China *Lin Yan: Artist, and graphic designer PUBLIC COLLECTIONS National Art Museum of China Pang Xunqin Museum ChengDu Contemporary Museum Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts SELECTED REVIEWS and BIBLIOGRAPHY “Lin Yan --- whose father, mother and grandfather are all respected figures in the oil-painting world --- opted for layered, embossed and crumpled paper wall works, some resembling abstract reliefs, in which a nontraditional element, surface texture, predominates to mesmerizing effect.” ----- Richard Vine, Art in America. Jan. 2008 “Lin Yan’s work asks us to look closely and then to look again. Everything changes to second times. The rough surfaces has unknown, nearly invisible textures that revive the sense of the actual place, but now are given to the paper fragments as a composition. The passage moves from the place to another place, from one time to another, to another surface, to an emptiness that resides without equivalence, without sound, yet speaks in a silent language of its own.” ----- Robert C. Morgan, an international art critic, writer, artist, curator, and art historian. “Passages and Doorways” 2007 “Lin Yan, the third generations of a family of distinguished artists, returns to the forms of objects recognizably of her homeland, while retaining the impressions of her New York City life.” ----- Edward Leffingwell, Art in America. Jan. 2007 “Lin Yan’s pensive work draws on minimalist tendencies in painting from Ad Reinhardt to Sean Scully.” ----- Rex Weil. Artnews. Jan. 2003 “What’s interesting about her work is not its general post-Minimalist “look,” which feels somewhat dated in a New York context now, but the way it uses elements of multiple styles to bring histories, past and present, together.” ----- Holland Cotter. The New York Times. Nov. 1, 2002 “Her work appears to be a female response to the mute aggression of certain varieties of Western minimalism. …As a result, they have delicacy that owes more to the restrained spirituality of Ad Reinhardt than to the brute materiality of Richard Serra….Lin Yan melds her multiple influences to reshape the minimalist vocabulary to her own purposes…She produces a poetry that transcends the bounds of East and West.” ----- Eleanor Heartney, a contributing editor to Art in America and Art Press. “Three Generations of China Modernism”. Dec. 1997 “林延的艺术出自"极少主义"这种观念艺术传统, 但她通过对(宣)纸及和墨这种东方媒材的智性使用极大丰富了"极少主义"的文化维度。" ---- 黄专:艺术批评家, 策展人。“抽象是一种关于自由的表达”, 2007 “这些作品虽然在技术上看似与水墨画无关,但在观念上恰恰是延续了对这一问题的探讨。但林延似乎在为我们提供探讨这一问题的不同角度,也就是说,我们是否可以换一个角度来看待墨与纸之间的关系。她同时也在为我们提出问题:我们取益于中国绘画传统的方式是否可以脱离笔墨的关系?对传统的承续是否可以纯化为对某些元素的视觉记忆? …… 林延的艺术追求,多少折射出了其家族先辈们的影响。她母亲庞涛偏向现代主义的态度,无疑直接为她打开了通向现代主义艺术的大门。而她从祖父庞薰琴的艺术中所受到的裨益也是极其重要的。庞薰琴是在中国最早倡导现代主义艺术的先驱人物之一,他在上世纪30年代和决澜社成员的活动,以及40年代致力于在中国的文化语境中调整现代主义艺术追求所获得的成就,为现代主义艺术在80年代重新被中国人所认识和接受,做出了重要的贡献。与庞薰琴一样,林延在经历了追求 对西方艺术的理解和掌握之后,开始重新体味自身文化传统中的宝贵根源。他们之间的另一个相似之处是,他们并不在乎自己的作品被称为中国艺术还是西洋艺术。因为重要的是,他们做作艺术家所喜欢做的事情。” ----钱志坚:艺术史家,批评家。“作为视觉记忆的传统:林延的近作”2006 “林延有时很理性,理性也是西方比较强调的,林延有时也很随意。随意性在中国是比较有传统的。在林延的作品里不是很激烈的表现一种感情,而是一种比较潇洒的表现艺术形式,这跟理性达到一种平衡。给我印象最深的是她将黑纸,铅笔和炭笔这几样材料用于一个作品中,铅笔本来是黑的,但在这样的环境中,它变了,变成一种荧光, 形成一种空间, 我觉得这个很有特点,这就有表现的可能,而且她处理得很智慧,在空间的理解上,中国有很独特的理解, 就是中国对意境的理解…. 林延对材料本身,她表达心理的这种能力给我印象深刻。” ----- 刘晓纯:艺术批评家,策展人。上海双年展外围展座谈。2000 Art in America, Richard Vine “Committed to Ink”, 1 / 2008 World Journal, “Touched by Women’s Hands, curated by LinYan” , 11/27, 2007 ChengDu Contemporary Art Museum, "3rd ChengDu Biennial", Sichuan, China, 2007 OCT Contemporary Art Terminal of the HeXiangning Art Museum, J&J Art Foundation, catalog “Qi Yun – An International Traveling Exhibition of Chinese Abstract Art” with essays by Huang Zhuan, Martin Powers and Robert C. Morgan, 2007 National Art Museum of China, Beijing Scene Sense Art & Culture Center, catalog “Responding and Corresponding: Chinese and American Artists 2007” with essays by Liu Xiaochun Art in America, Edward Leffingwell “Lin Yan”, 12 / 2007 Visual Art Center of New Jersey, catalog “Travelers between Cultures” by Zijian Qian, 2006 One Moon Contemporary, Beijing, Timezone 8, catalog “Visible $ Invisible: Abstract Paintings” with essays by Gao Minglu and Liu Libin, 2006 China 2000 Contemporary Art, catalog “Lin Yan – Echoes in the Moment” with introduction by Karen Wender, essay “Tradition as Visual Memory” by Zijian Qian, “Interview with Lin Yan” by Scott R. Ritter, 2006 Ethan Cohen Fine Art, catalog “New Chinese Occidentalism” with essay by Pan Xinlei, 2006 World Journal, The Duowei Times and The Epoch Times, NY, Review of “Recent Works by Lin Yan, Shen Chen”, 10, 2005 Time Warner Ch 34 TV, "Lin Yan: Chinese Women Artists of early 20th century”, May 18, 2006 Lecture “Constructing Painting”, International Workshop on Art and Curating, Cornell University, 2006 Art News, Rex Weil “New York Art Review – Chinese American Artists in New York”, 1 / 2003. New York Times, Holland Cotter “Art in Review”, 11 / 1, 2002 New York Times, Holland Cotter “Asian Contemporary Art”, 3 / 22, 2002 Art AsiaPacific, Britta Erickson “The Rise of a Feminist Spirit in Contemporary Chinese Art”, No. 31, 2001 Annie Wong Art Foundation, catalog “Three Generations of Chinese Modernism” with essays by Eleanor Heartney, Michael Sulivan, Ralph Croizier and Huajing Xiu Maske. 1998

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