ShanghART Gallery is pleased to announce its third participation at ARCO Madrid art fair as part of the Special Section curated by Colin Chinnery. Here we will present a solo-exhibition with Xu Zhen, featuring a series of new works.
Abstract Paintings I-V (2008) are Xu Zhen’s most recent production and one that marks a desire to delve further into conditions of art’s modus operandi. As a point of departure for his new abstract pieces, the artist asked various people to cover the, then, blank canvases with Chinese characters. Finally, Xu Zhen alters the writings with layers of abstract images that allow the original subjects to all but disappear. The texture of writing and paint blends and merges in color and form to depict a terrain both familiar and oblique. What was once very literal statements mutate into an indecipherable camouflage of new forms, and a perfect abstract painting is all that remains.
Xu Zhen (b. 1977, Shanghai) is considered one of China’s foremost young conceptual artists. Over the past decade, Xu Zhen has consistently sought to push the boundaries of social assumption, cultural anomaly and the imagined world and its factual relation, to name but a few of the constructs to which he humorously critiques contemporary life. His work, prolific and diverse, crosses the mediums of video, photography, performance and installation, and whilst addressing sensitive social and political issues, it is at once conceptually astute and powerfully provocative. Xu Zhen’s work has been shown extensively in China and abroad, most recently included in the Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China, 2008 and ‘PERFORMA07: Second Biennial of Visual Art Performance’, New York, USA, 2007. He participated at the Istanbul Biennale (2007) and the Venice Biennale (2005).
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