oil on canvas mounted on aluminium panel
170 x 250 x 10 cm
Under Heaven - Black Light 0302VS0137 (2013) appears to absorb the light in the gallery space, a kind of dark matter, a night sky filled with pattern but without stars. From afar, this slab of black looks as opaque as a tombstone. Close inspection reveals a riot of detail: ripples, blobs and twirls of thick impasto squeezed from icing bags. The title of the work (and of the large series it belongs to) invokes tianxia, “all under heaven”, an ancient term for both the earthly realm and an all-inclusive world order—what we might call the global economy. Perhaps that is why the artist likens this stygian microcosm to “a fallen city of desire”.