Rejecting River Currents
03.10 - 04.30, 2018
Beijing 2nd Space
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Zhu Jinshi’s dual solo shows “Ship of Time” and “Rejecting River Currents” on March 10, 2018. Based on the unique architecture of both of Tang Contemporary’s Beijing spaces, these parallel exhibitions will present important works of installation and the artist’s unique “thick paintings.”
In space II,“Rejecting River Currents” showcases Zhu Jinshi’s abstract painting from the early 1980s to the present, with a particular emphasis on his unique “thick paintings” from the last decade. Since completing his first abstract painting in 1980, Zhu Jinshi’s style has changed. He has shifted among styles, gaining experience, but his “thick paintings” have always been distinct. The power of his work impacts viewers, helping them to experience the cutting edge of contemporary painting. Compared to his concise installations, Zhu Jinshi pursued the opposite path in his painting; his paintings are rich and dazzling, chaotic and fierce, wild and aggressive. His painting tools are particular, but very different from those of other artists; his studio contains over one hundred 15-centimeter-wide paintbrushes and plaster trowels coated in thick paint, and several hundred painting palettes that he uses instead of brushes.
Zhu Jinshi (b.1954, Beijing) produces abstract paintings whose surfaces are built up with thick, near-sculptural layers of oil paint. Resembling colorful landscapes, Zhu’s images range in palette and scale, but the artist is known to always apply his oil paint with spatulas and shovels. Producing dense lashings of color, the artist’s method recalls the style and techniques espoused by the German Expressionists, who Zhu was profoundly influenced by during his years living in Berlin. Zhu belonged to a group of Chinese avant-garde artists named the Stars, which formed in 1979 to challenge aesthetic conventions and exhibit their work publicly. The group, which included the famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei, was granted an exhibition in 1980 at Beijing’s National Gallery, a breakthrough in Chinese cultural expression that helped to establish the creative force of the individual. “Although I operate within the realm of form,” Zhu has said, “my idea is to go beyond the limitations set by form and break free.” He has also produced photographic, video, installation, and performance works.
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