A public garden & cultural center

Amy Cheng

Flora Fantastica!
Glyndor Gallery | July 16−August 27, 2017

Pictured above: AbOvo, 2015, oil on canvas, 36” x 42”. Courtesy of the artist and Elisa Contemporary Art, Bronx, NY.


Sumptuous, intricate, ornamented, my current paintings are richly referential—they call to mind a range of associations from mandalas, the cosmos, cells, lace, brocade and more. I align myself with the long tradition of geometric and floral ornamentation that the Far East, the Middle East, the Byzantine and the Baroque have long employed. They did so with the implicit understanding that pattern and repetition, which are endemic in nature, are primal in their rhythmic connection to the human nervous system.

- Amy Cheng, artist statement

Amy Cheng admits that she fought against painting flowers. “I was under the (mis)conception that doing so was trite and cliché. It’s curious how artists often resist doing things we want to do because of some underlying fear of ridicule. Flowers made appearances in my work early on but I didn’t let myself fully embrace them until five or six years ago.” In her paintings, floral motifs mix with the cosmic and textile references to create a feast for the eyes and the mind that is both experiential and accessible. In the context of Wave Hill’s landscape, her fantastical, imaginative paintings encourage concentration and delight in the gardens.

While the completed paintings appear fully planned, the actual process involves painting, erasing, covering over, searching and revising. Like Nancy Blum and Jill Parisi, Cheng has completed a number of public commissions finding fruitful ways to translate her paintings to durable materials and architectural settings. Her laminated-glass windscreens can be seen at the 25th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, and she has also made faceted-glass windscreens for the Cleveland Street subway station in Brooklyn, both commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit Program. She has worked in mosaic for commissions at the Jacksonville Airport in Florida and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington, among other places.

Cheng notes that as a young artist she admired the way that Pattern and Decoration artists such as Robert Kushner embraced the use of Asian ornamentation. That in turn helped her to develop her own pictorial language. Born in Taiwan, Cheng was raised in Brazil, Oklahoma and Texas and has a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She is a professor in the Art Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz and received a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to Renmin University, Beijing, China, in spring 2017.

Pictured above: Into the Breach, 2014, Oil on canvas, 36” x 60”

Pictured above: Camu Camu, 2014, Oil on canvas, 36” x 36”

All works courtesy of the artist and Elisa Contemporary Art, Bronx, NY

Additional work by the artist is on view this summer in Rooted Down and Rising Up at Elisa Contemporary

Learn more about the artist here


Wave Hill is pleased to partner with Elisa Contemporary to offer two, limited edition prints by Amy Cheng that are available through The Shop. The proceeds from these sales will benefit the arts, programs and educational activities at Wave Hill. 

If you are interested in purchasing these prints, please contact Jenah Barry, Retail Manager, for more info, at jenahb@wavehill.org or 718-549-3200 x252.



The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.