China Underground > Events > Michael Eade: past is present is future

Michael Eade: past is present is future

Date(s) - 21/09/2019 - 10/11/2019
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Fou Gallery

Location Address 410 Jefferson Ave #1, Brooklyn

City New York

Country/State New York


NEW YORK Fou Gallery is pleased to present past is present is future, egg tempera paintings, and porcelain sculptures by Michael Eade.

This is Eade’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, showcasing work that explores the broad themes of creation, rebirth, renewal and the cycles of life.

September 21 – November 10, 2019

Opening Reception: Sept 21, 2019, 5–8 pm
Artist’s Talk: Sept 21, 2019, 4–5 pm
Location: Fou Gallery, 410 Jefferson Ave #1, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11221
Hours: Saturday 11 am – 6 pm, or by appointment (
Curator: Liang Hai

Throughout the collection of 19 paintings and 12 porcelain sculptures, viewers are drawn into lush, dreamy otherworldly landscapes. Eade’s vision of nature is close up and highly detailed. He takes great care to carefully individualize each leaf, branch, plant, and blade of grass, which all come together in a lusciously dense composition, often anchored by age-old towering tree trunks.

Michael Eade, Pine Tree Sapling (Small), 2019. Egg tempera, raised 22k gold leaf, raised copper and aluminum leaf on wood panel, 17.1 x 13.8 inches ©Michael Eade, courtesy Fou Gallery

In Tree of Life Reflected (2018), Eade’s iconic “Tree of Life” towers over a lake. Flowers on the opposite bank obscure the reflection of its leaves and a wild apple branch comes in from the side. His rendering of this tree is inspired by his study of the ancient fruit forests found in Kazakhstan and the western border of China. These endangered forests are considered the genetic origin of apples and over 300 other fruits and nuts on our planet, and thus are a literal “Garden of Eden”. Because the apple is a potent symbol with different meanings in many world cultures and intending to eulogize these forests, Eade’s “Tree of Life” is fecund with exquisite gilded golden apples. Robust and full of life, the tree’s anthropomorphic branches reach out and give life to the land and forest.

Michael Eade, Tree of Life Reflected, 2018. Egg tempera, raised 22k gold leaf, raised aluminum leaf, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches ©Michael Eade, courtesy Fou Gallery

Methuselah (2019) is his rendering of the “Methuselah Tree,” a real bristlecone pine found in the mountains of eastern California. Over 4,800 years old, this tree is among the longest-lived life forms on earth. Bristlecone pines thrive where most other plants cannot even grow, such as in rocky soils and areas with virtually no rainfall. Eade’s Methuselah honors this magnificent tree by giving it center stage on the canvas, enlarging its scale and painstakingly gilding both the sprouting and fully developed leaves. “For me, Methuselah represents longevity and the timelessness of nature when it is in balance,” explains Eade.

Other works such as Change of Season, No. 2 (2016) showcase Eade’s mastery of naturalistic detail, where intertwining leaves and branches shine in radiant greens, golds, reds and brown hues. In his Sunset and Gilded Nurse Log (2017), a fallen, decaying old-growth tree provides safe harbor and food for the emergence and sustainability of a different generation of plants. Additionally, always exploring alternative mediums, Eade has extracted his nurse logs and stumps out of his paintings to create editions varie (EV) in porcelain.

Pine Tree Sapling (Small) (2019) is from a new series Eade started this year depicting the renewing power of fire. In the painted scene, green saplings sprout from and around a burnt and destroyed trunk. Eade is very aware that fire has the power to utterly destroy as seen in the recent megafires in California and Brazil’s devastating broad clearing of the rainforest. However, as we see in his paintings, naturally burning forest fires clear the forest floor and provide nutrients for surviving plants and newly sprouting life, thus maintaining the timelessness of the cycle of life.

Michael Eade, Sunset and Gilded Nurse Log, 2017. Egg tempera, raised 22k gold leaf, raised copper and aluminum leaf on wood panel, 11.5 x 48 inches ©Michael Eade, courtesy Fou Gallery

In all of his work, Eade purposefully leads viewers into a vibrant and splendid Utopia of Nature – a sign of what we could lose as we continue to threaten our environment. Within the worlds he depicts, vivid leaves, flowers, and fruits are all suspended in a state where time-lapses and an instant becomes eternal – levitating in every moment of the past, present and future.

During the exhibition, the gallery will hold a series of events that correspond to the theme, including the flower and tea ceremonies hosted by Yezi and Lanzhi Dai on October 5th, Zuoliang Liu’s flute solo concert on October 19th, and the Di Zhao’s opera solo concert on November 2nd.

Michael Eade at Studio, Elizabeth Foundation of Art, New York. Photography by Eugene Neduv ©Michael Eade, courtesy Fou Gallery

ARTIST – MICHAEL EADE (b. 1957, Portland, Oregon)

Received a BA from Oregon State University and did further studies at the Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenen Kunste, Stuttgart (studying egg tempera painting techniques), and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (studying film and computer animation techniques). He has received many honors including a residency at the Hermitage Artists’ Retreat, a studio membership at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, and fellowships from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, the National Academy Museum and School of the Fine Arts, Artists’ Fellowship Inc., and Aljira. Eade’s work appears in public and corporate collections including the Harvard Business School, HERMÈS, AT&T, the Library of Congress Permanent Collection and many private collections. In 2017, Michael Eade had his first solo exhibition at Fou Gallery (New York) – Realms o of the Soil.

Curator – Liang Hai ©Liang Hai

CURATOR – LIANG HAI (b. 1990, Tianjin, China)

Hai is currently working part-time at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She earned M.A. from Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) and Master in Design Studies at Harvard University (Boston). Hai is now a curator and art writer, collaborates with artists, architects, dancers and musicians to curate exhibitions. Her curatorial experiences includes: Han Qin: Ethereal Evolution (Fou Gallery, New York, 2019); Zaha Hadid Young Artists Foundation Exhibition (Roca Gallery, London, 2013); Flow Fields – Confluence in Urban Picnic (Matedero, Madrid, 2013) and Flow Fields – Dilution in 2013 Lisbon Triennale (Sinel de Cordes Palace, Lisbon, 2013).

FOU GALLERY is an apartment gallery and creative lab based in New York. Fou is dedicated to promoting creative talents and projects of our time. As suggested by its name, Fou is both a denial of the mainstream commercial gallery model and an active contributor to a new, organic art community. With the belief that the enjoyment of art is an essential part of everyday life, Fou offers a vibrant, inspirational selection of original works in art and design, and hosts various events to create a diverse and accessible art space.

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