Marlene Tseng Yu

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Marlene Tseng Yu
ResidenceUnited States
Alma materNational Taiwan Normal University,
University of Colorado at Boulder
StyleAbstract Expressionism
Patron(s)University of Denver

Marlene Tseng Yu (born 1937, in Taiwan) is an Asian American artist known for her mural-sized, nature-inspired, abstract expressionist paintings. She has exhibited her "Forces of Nature" series extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America. She is founder of the Rainforest Art Foundation.


Yu graduated from National Taiwan Normal University. She then went to the University of Colorado at Boulder for her master's degree in fine arts, and then taught at University of Denver. Her first televised interview was given by Barbara Walters on The Today Show.[1][2] Her dual-hemispheric education allowed her to synthesize Chinese painting and Abstract Expressionism, experiment with acrylic paint and develop her own brush techniques on canvas and paper, with nature as her inspiration.[2][3]

Her main theme is the "Forces of Nature," in which she hopes "to capture the spirit of the universe, its rhythm and movements, its quiet and angry moods, its colors and forms..."[4] in natural phenomena such as avalanches, geysers, coral reefs, calving glaciers, black holes, stalagmite formation, amber resin, Aspen leaves and wind, red rock canyons, crystals, turquoise, and volcanoes.[5] In the 1980s, her minor Dream Series depicted a love story with female torsos and body parts surrounded by animals symbolizing the male.

Recent years[edit]

Yu's 33-foot-long (10 m) works are permanently displayed on rotation in a circular room at QCC Art Gallery at the Queensborough Community College, alongside temporary exhibits such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and QCC art students,[6] who have submitted essays discussing her technique and subject matter. In 2006, her four "Elements of Life" (Earth, Air, Water, Fire) paintings were followed by her "March of the Icebergs," in response to today's growing concerns about global warming.

Personal life[edit]

She, and real estate developer husband, James K. Yu, lived and worked in SoHo, New York City from 1969 to 2007, and in 2008, opened a studio in Long Island City, Queens. The couple has two children, Daniel and Stephanie.[7]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Marlene Yu Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana


  1. ^ "Who is Marlene Tseng Yu?". Shreveport Times. February 5, 2014. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Marlene Tseng Yu Biography". Marlene Tseng Yu.
  3. ^ Yu, Marlene Tseng; Mann, James (1 January 1999). "Marlene Tseng Yu: paintings: forces of nature II, 1994-1998". Las Vegas Art Museum. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Marlene Tseng Yu". Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art.
  5. ^ "Marlene Tseng Yu: Forces of Nature" (PDF). ACA Galleries. August 2, 2012. Yu thus uses the environment's organic realities —solid rock; molten lava; the motion of water; the texture of trees, and so on— as the fundamental syntax of an abstract visual language.
  6. ^ "Calendar". Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Stephanie Yu and Bryan Lusk". The New York Times. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2017.

External links[edit]