Matthew Wong (1984-2019)
Another Day
signed and dated in Chinese and titled 'ANOTHER DAY' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
72 x 70 in. (182.9 x 177.8 cm.)
Painted in 2018.
KARMA, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
J. Yao, "Matthew Wong’s Hallucinatory Pilgrimages," Hyperallergic, 22 April 2018.
New York, KARMA, Matthew Wong, March-April 2018.
Sale room notice
Please note the correct estimate for this work is $500,000-700,000.

Brought to you by

Emily Kaplan
Emily Kaplan

Lot Essay

The centerpiece of Matthew Wong’s first solo show at Karma in 2018, Another Day is a masterful work by the critically acclaimed, self-taught artist. Evoking art historical precedents such as the sweeping brushstrokes of Impressionists and the intuitive mark-making of Abstract Expressionism, the present lot depicts a vibrant imaginary landscape rendered in a monumental scale. Combining the dreamlike qualities of Van Gogh’s landscapes with the intrepid use of color and form reminiscent of a Kenneth Noland stripe painting, the present lot showcases Wong’s unique artistic vernacular and distinctive handling of paint. Rendered in an explosion of color, Another Day exemplifies Wong’s uncanny manipulation of planar space and ability to flood negative space with color and light, opening up the confines of the canvas for viewers to enter and be all consumed.

A lone figure is positioned off in the distance, a recurring motif in Wong’s oeuvre, but the complex narrative surrounding the solitary figure is completely unique to Another Day. John Yau remarked, “In these largely unpopulated paintings, Wong invited the viewer to be a solitary observer or sojourner. He never indicated what awaits us at the end of our journey. He seamlessly integrated contradictions into his works so that they reveal themselves slowly.” (J. Yau, "The Last Works of Matthew Wong," Hyperallergic, December 2019). Here, the viewer is left captivated by the journey this lone figure is embarking on, and the impression they leave as they head towards their destination, wherever that destination may be. The shadow cast from the balloon brings juxtaposition to the vibrant palette, and in doing so, forces the viewer to ponder what that shadow represents. The mossy green contrasted by cerulean blue; the marigold of a setting sun contrasted by the pale yellow of crisp morning light—the world is forever altered by the steps we take. While the figure presents the viewer with a striking moment of solitary contemplation, the figure’s legacy, represented by its shadow, calls upon the viewer to explore and enrapture oneself in the journey, and the lasting impression one’s journey leaves in its trail—grounding the work in something universally relatable.

Roberta Smith noted Wong’s paintings are “extremely open and vulnerable. But once they lure you in, they leave you alone to explore their chromatic, spatial and psychological complexities.” (R. Smith, “A Final Rhapsody in Blue From Matthew Wong,” The New York Times, December 2019). Another Day is a true triumph of Wong’s mastery—the solemn expression of isolation, juxtaposed with the plentitudes of complexity rooted in color and form. The viewer is at once solitary, but never truly alone when immersed in the expansive world Wong has opened up for those lucky enough to see it.

More from Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Featuring The Collection of Morton and Barbara Mandel

View All
View All