Paris

Thu Van Tran, Penetrable—Rainforest #2, 2019, pigment and rubber on canvas, 70 7⁄8 × 59 1⁄8". From the series “Penetrable Rainforest,” 2018–.

Thu Van Tran, Penetrable—Rainforest #2, 2019, pigment and rubber on canvas, 70 7⁄8 × 59 1⁄8". From the series “Penetrable Rainforest,” 2018–.

Thu Van Tran

Almine Rech Gallery | Paris

In the 1960s, the US military launched a program called Operation Trail Dust. A tactical maneuver against the Vietcong, the effort involved the destruction of South Vietnamese forests and farmland using so-called rainbow herbicides: Agents Green, Pink, Purple, Blue, White, and, most famously, Orange, manufactured by Monsanto and Dow Chemical. “These rainbow colors,” Thu Van Tran explains, “and the semantic treachery of their nomenclature have stained my mental space.” For her drawings from the 2012– series “Rainbow Herbicides”—four of which (all works cited, 2019) appeared in her recent show “Trail Dust”—the artist sprayed quick dashes of the six bright above named hues over delicate large-scale pencil drawings of volcanic ash clouds. These colors—which the artist has previously layered in fresco—also crop up in the watercolor-on-paper series, “Colors of Grey,” 2012–. The French word

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