For over 35 years, Gilbert Hsaio (b. 1956) has enthralled viewers with his multimedia installations and post-op art paintings and works on paper. As an unconventional abstract artist, Hsiao is interested in converting the experience of music into visual abstractions that signify time, space, and movement. Every artwork represents a series of optical illusions. Optical, or perceptual, art can be interpreted as a new perspective based on the eye’s perception—the power of the artwork lies in its direct engagement and sensory connection with the viewer. The artist typically uses few colors to create tight overlays by placing tape on a canvas or panel. Before removing the tape, he applies paint or utilizes an industrial sprayer to allow for a grainier texture.
Although he lives in Brooklyn, Hsiao was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and ventured to New York City to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute. He then received a master’s degree from Columbia University, New York, majoring in art history, music, and perceptual psychology. Hsiao participated in fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2008) and the Queensland Arts Council, Australia (2016). From 2012 to 2013, he participated in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program, now renamed the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, in New York. Hsiao has showcased his extensive artworks in numerous art institutions worldwide, including the following: the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas; the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana.