Single sided poster published to announce Martin Wong's third one-man show held at Semaphore Gallery, September 27 - October 25, 1986.
"Martin Wong (Semaphore Gallery, 137 Greene Street): There are eight large paintings in Martin Wong's current show, all of them life-size versions of storefronts in the East Village that were part of the artist's daily life in 1980. Wong writes that all of the places sold something, whether it was drugs, poetry, food or religion. All are now changed or closed down. In the paintings every storefront is shut. The surfaces of the buildings therefore have to communicate all that went on behind them.
From his base in realism, Wong explores abstraction. In the stripes and in the play of color and shape, there are intimations of Hans Hofmann, of Frank Stella and of the more abstract paintings of Jasper Johns. The paintings tend to be dominated by earth colors, but the fortresslike facade of the 'Church of God' is painted in an ironic celestial blue. The concentration on the surface gives these paintings a powerful physicality; the gates and walls seem to be haunted. Wong sees his storefronts both as a world of hopeless illusion and as a paradise lost. (Through Oct. 25.)" -- Michael Brenson's review of the exhibition published in The New York Times on October 3, 1986.