Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Abstraction from China @ Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing

Look carefully at the painting below and think Ad Reinhardt..

Zhan Rui, 'Time for sex and love of No.72 Service Provider at the Sauna'
2010, Acrylic on canvas, 180×180 cm
This is an interesting exhibition at the Boers-Li Gallery Beijing. It is exhibiting the latest show by Zhan Rui entitled “The Stock Exchange, Weather, and Sex,” until 19th June 2011. This will include twelve paintings produced by the artist, all of which generally appear as abstract grids of nine by nine squares in simple colors of varying tone. 

'Though this superficial abstraction may cause us to mistakenly relate these works to cold abstraction and color field painting, it is not, in fact, the aesthetic inclination of artist or audience that motivates their forms; they actually consist of documentation of the behaviors of people, society, and nature. In the works in this exhibition we see elements including the Chinese stock exchange, the weather in Wuhan, and the sex lives of people around the artist.

Zhan Rui uses red and green to represent the gains and losses of certain stocks, while triangles oriented in different directions represent the weather, and, different interviewees choose colors that relate to sex. After completing this foundational setup, the paintings automatically take form throughout a period of 81 days, a significant number in Chinese, for which the phrase “when all is said and done” is rendered colloquially as “nine and nine become one.”

Critic Sun Dongdong has commented that “As Zhan Rui introduces information into painting through a surface of modularity, so-called ‘painterliness’ becomes a form of useless information.” These paintings do not belong to the category of abstract painting that moves far from society and strives for pure sensation but rather stand as circumstantial recordings of information, drawing together the complexity of social information and the purity of abstract painting and perhaps ultimately reducing different social, environmental, and individual actions into colors and shapes that represent different forms of information. Through this method the elegant and orderly painting both manifests the anitya or impermanence noted in traditional cultural and makes immaterial the subjectivity and ‘painterliness’ of abstract art.'

You may also wish to check out this group exhibition entitled: 'Breaking Away-An Abstract Art exhibition.'

'Breaking Away'-An exhibition of Abstract Art' Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing


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