Yun Gee / Elliot Orr – Balzac Galleries • The Art News – New York – May 1932

Balzac Galleries

The two young artists exhibiting at the Balzac Galleries, both under thirty, are both men of feeling and of imagination, yet their work is an interesting illustration of the differences between the East and the West.  Yun Gee, the Chinese painter, displays the mystical, poetic mind which is the ancient tradition of the painters of the land of his birth, finding expression in lyrical, philosophical outbursts as naturally as in pictorial creation.  Two of his paintings on a silvered scroll are in the old calligraphic style with the written characters a part of the design.  The symbolic, rather Dance-of-Siva-ish “Resurrection of the Messiah,” macabre with its pierced hands pointing upward, agonized expression and emaciated body, requires no literary appendage.

Resurrection of the Messiah

Yun Gee’s show covers his development since 1926 and his reactions to his contacts with the modern movement in art.  And, by the way, of late years he has been fascinated by cats.  At present, also he is one of the muralists at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Cat In The Rain

Elliott Orr is less subtle, less complex than Yun Gee.  He is what might be called high-powered in the direct concentrated western way.  He is always monumental, simple, sombre, moving.  The world of his canvases with their big, calm rhythms, their careful decorative pattering, and their knowing distortions and accents is a well ordered, solid, strange, sunless “mid region of We[??]- frim, blue, yet somehow acceptable as the spirit’s predestined habitat.  This powerful young American painter of few yet fluent words, as it were, has found Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Daumier and especially our own Albert Pinkham Ryder congenial to his spirit.  He has never been abroad – to his own advantage one would say.