This large scale oil painting marks a new direction for the Window Series, one indicated in the handling of the Aix cathedral watercolours. Where those are graphic, this work is colourist, using a bold palette and a free technique. A large watercolour exists of this same window that anticipates some of these effects. This is one of a group of Chinatown paintings in the Window Series; these paintings, often lit windows in dark streetscapes, filled with a haze of steam, were central to the development of a freer style. The high-contrast, low-light environments of these windows, the blurring effects, and the graphic strokes of the ideograms required more expansive treatment. The Chinatown works also allowed the artist to reconsider the moody urban atmosphere of American realists like Edward Hopper (1882-1967): the light and heat of the interior is inviting against the dark, but the view is obscured and the signage incomprehensible to the artist. Language appears as sheer pictorial form, divorced from linguistic meaning, an indication of the power of Western aestheticization; additionally, the resistance of linguistic utterance maintains a flatness at the level of interpretation that matches the flatness of the canvas surface. Only if the viewer is a Cantonese speaker does the painting become anecdotal. Meat Market on the Danforth likewise relies on text unreadable to the artist, this time in Greek. The urban environment has become harder to read, while remaining pleasurable to look at.

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