Courtesy of Silk Road Art Gallery

A new exhibition exploring the meaning of human relations through abstract painting is coming to New Haven.

Silk Road Art Gallery, a local gallery dedicated to promoting Chinese and local contemporary artists, will host “The Third Reconstruction,” an exhibition examining the concept of recreating reality and exploring human interactions. This Saturday, the opening reception will feature local American abstract painter Karen Dow, whose works explore human qualities of imperfection and tenderness in the relationships created between abstract shapes and colors.

“As human beings, it is about how we observe this whole world, the different realities we sense,” gallery director Dan Li said. “Artists break this shape and color to go into depth, to create meaning in art, in society, and in their identities.” According to Li, the first reconstruction of an object is shape, and the second is sense and color. The third reconstruction represents the processing of the first two into a reality.

For Dow, the concept of the third reconstruction represents the physical process of making the paintings. She works towards unity and balance, editing and painting over each canvas to manipulate the space, she said. All of the paintings on display have been coincidentally reworked three times, she added.

“There are three reiterations of shapes coming back in the process of making the paintings, there is an editing process of building and rebuilding that shows through,” Dow said.

The final painting is a new “reality” in which the meaning of the shapes and materials are defined by each other and coexist in a community, Dow said. She also emphasized the human quality of her works. Each shape is hand painted without the use of rulers or tapes to give it an imperfect essence, bringing out a “tenderness” in the way that the shapes sit against each other, giving each unit a distinct sense of space and purpose, she said.

The image studies the relationship between the various colors, sizes and placements. Dow said her work further examines the construction of the background and foreground to create depth. The square frame and materials used to create the image emphasize their “possibilities and constraints.”

According to Silk Road Art Gallery owner Liwen Ma, she founded the gallery two years ago in order to spread new ideas and promote a greater understanding of contemporary Asian art. Since then, it has shown numerous exhibitions placing Chinese and American artists in dialogue with each other, along with solo shows. Describing it as an “East meets West” model, it strives to be both a platform for Chinese and local artists to meet and a space for the local community to discover, she said.

The gallery is located on 83 Audubon St. There will be an opening reception for the public on Feb. 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the show will be on view until March 30th.