Lehmann Maupin announces representation of American artist Tammy Nguyen. Nguyen is known for a multidisciplinary practice that encompasses paintings, drawings, artist books, prints, and zines that explore the intersections between geopolitics, ecology, and lesser-known histories. Nguyen’s work is currently on view with Printed Matter at NADA New York, where she curated a presentation of artists’ books, alongside a new limited edition print in support of Printed Matter / St Marks. Her work will also be featured in our upcoming presentation at Art Basel in June.
A storyteller, Nguyen’s multidisciplinary practice takes two forms —her more traditional fine arts practice, which encompasses her lush, dense paintings, as well as her prints, drawings, and unique artist books, and her publishing practice, embodied through her imprint, Passenger Pigeon Press, which creates and distributes Martha’s Quarterly, a subscription of artist books and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Rachel Lehmann says, “Tammy’s work is more urgent now than ever before. She weaves together concepts of religion and ecology, nature and politics, reminding us of the greater ecosystem we live in. I am excited to see how Tammy will continue to expand on her already rich language of poetry, literature, and visual symbols, further raising awareness of underrecognized cultures and histories.”
Many of Nguyen’s paintings expand from her unique artist books, often through engagement with similar themes, questions, or investigations. Throughout her work she has explored a range of topics and ideas, including the Bandung conference, the first large-scale Afro-Asian conference which was attended by world leaders from 29 non-aligned countries during the Cold War, Forest City, a sprawling off-shore development project in Malaysia, and the red-shanked douc langur, an endangered species of monkey native to Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. In 2008, Nguyen received a Fulbright fellowship to study lacquer painting in Vietnam.
At its core, Nguyen's collaborative, research-based practice is propositional, exploring ideas and conjectures for ways of looking at the past, examining the present, and imagining possible futures. Across her work, Nguyen addresses the question of how one reads, both visually and linguistically, and she considers the idea of multiple narratives being told simultaneously, held together by the edges of her compositions or spines of her books.
Image: Tammy Nguyen in her Easton, Connecticut studio, 2022. Photo by Annie Ling