exhibitions

Huang Rui

  • 26.05.2015 - 25.07.2015|

Opening Tuesday May 26th
6 – 8 PM

Zürcher Gallery, New York is honored to present Huang Rui’s first Solo exhibition in the United States. Huang Rui (Born in Beijing, 1952) is one of China’s most highly regarded artists. He was a founding member of the Chinese avant-garde group the Stars (Xing Xing), which included artists Wang Keping, Ai Weiwei, Ma Desheng, among others and was active from 1979 to 1983. This groundbreaking group of artists was the first active art collective to protest government censorship after the Cultural Revolution.

Huang Rui has been considered a major vocal advocate of the 798 Art Zone in Beijing. He was instrumental in the establishment of the art district in 2002, and in the efforts to protect the area from demolition in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, 798 became the first state recognized and protected art district in China. This success was due in a large part to Huang Rui’s efforts to promote the district through the Dashanzi International Art Festivals (DIAF) and his book Beijing798. Huang Rui most often creates paintings referencing various Western artistic styles. However through the development of his style, he became more experimental and began exploring different mediums including photography, printmaking, installation, and performance art. As a result, his work is not easily classified.

The solo show at Zürcher Gallery, NY is focused on painting, a practice which marked significantly each step of Huang Rui’s artistic process from the eighties through today. We are happy to announce that Huang Rui is now included in the Guggenheim Museum Collection in New York.


Première exposition personnelle de Huang Rui à New York

Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer que Huang Rui rejoint la galerie à l’occasion de sa première exposition personnelle à New York, Zürcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, du 27 mai au 20 juillet 2015.
Huang Rui (né à Pékin en 1952) est l’un des artistes chinois contemporains les plus remarquables tant par son rôle historique en tant que co-fondateur du premier groupe d’artistes de l’avant-garde chinoise à la fin des années 70, Xing Xing (Les Etoiles) avec Wang Keping, Ai Wei Wei, Ma Desheng – pour ne citer que les leaders de cette époque – que par sa fonction essentielle dans la création de la zone d’art 798 à Pékin en 2002 et ses efforts pour la protéger de la démolition en 2004 et 2005 qui aboutit en 2006 à la protection du site et à sa reconnaissance officielle grâce au lancement du Dashanzi Art Festival (DIAF) qui en assure la promotion.
Peintre, Huang Rui utilise également depuis de nombreuses années d’autres médiums : photographie, procédés d’impression, installation et performance.

Ses peintures abstraites de 1984 les Space Structure Paintings, n’avaient jamais été exposées. Elaborées à partir de l’étude de l’architecture chinoise ancienne, en particulier la Cité Interdite et son quartier des anciens hutongs, elles représentent une autre réalité que celle du réalisme socialiste. Une voie nouvelle, personnelle, fondée sur le recours à un langage de couleurs “murales” ou “végétales”: bruns rouges ou gris vert ou bleu des constructions et des cours du vieux Pékin. Huang Rui trace une cartographie qui évoque moins un relevé qu’un ensemble de combinaisons – évoqué par le recours au Yijing, le célèbre livre de divination – concept de spatialité dont le développement se poursuit aujourd’hui sous forme de figures abstraites, les hexagrammes ou Bagua (2015).
Une autre approche de la peinture est liée à la calligraphie: les Language Color Paintings (2014 -15). Mais pour Huang Rui les textes ne sont pas accessoires ce sont des images, à la fois forme et contenu, souvent à caractère politique ou humoristique et intégrés dans la structure même de la peinture, voire dans un autre media comme la photographie ou même la sculpture (par exemple en acier), ajoutant ainsi une troisième dimension au langage.

Huang Rui est l’un des pionniers les plus importants de la nouvelle abstraction chinoise qui s’exprime dans ses Space Structure Series et leur développement lié au processus de la réforme urbaine en Chine" (Tom Berghuis, The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York).

Entré récemment dans les collections du Musée Guggenheim, il y participera en 2017 à une exposition sur les pionniers de l’avant-garde chinoise (Unofficial Chinese Art) où Wang Keping et Ma Desheng seront aussi présentés. Ces mêmes artistes feront également partie d’un projet en cours d’élaboration au Centre Pompidou en 2016.


Huang Rui, Motivity Sound Yin Yang
Performance
All views


Selected Museum Exhibitions

2015
China 8, Tour in 8 Museums in Germany (Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen,
Hagen, Marl, Mülheim/Ruhr and Recklinghausen May 15 – August 30)
2013
The Change of Essence- The Shenzhen Public Sculpture Exhibition Shenzhen, China
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Light before Dawn, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong
2012
Chai-na/China Signs: Works by Huang Rui and Ko Siu Lan, Slought Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
2011
Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art, 1974-1985, China Institute, New York
Documentation of Chinese Performance Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing

A Catalog will be published by Zürcher Gallery. Text by Julia Andrews.


Space Structure Paintings 1984

By late 1983, Huang Rui began painting a series of abstract paintings known as the Space Structures Series, which rendered the city environment in a combinations of Chinese divination (feng shui). He makes use of the book of Changes (Yijing) to create maps of the ancient city of Beijing. In 1982, Huang Rui travelled to Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou where he saw the spatial structures of gardens and waterways and started to consider painting them as abstract forms based on the spatial elements of hexagrams (bagua) used first in Daoist cosmology to represent the underlying principles of physical reality in relation to space. He painted works that rendered the space of the Suzhou gardens, traditional courtyard houses, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square at its center. These works are a continuation of traditional notions of space in China. They integrate a new form of abstract expression from outside the confines of social realism into China. Huang Rui uses national colors, earthy browns, greens and blues, various shades of red and gray, which relate to the colors in ancient palaces and courtyard buildings across Beijing.

Huang Rui’s Space Structure series created a new framing of reality for contemporary China free from the old expression of socialist realism, which controlled the production of art in Maoist China. These 1984 paintings were never shown, yet they represent an important part and big role in the history of abstraction in China during the 1980’s. Most of the space structures were painted after the summer of 1983 when the 3 members of the Stars group Huang Rui, Ma Desheng, and Wang Keping participated in an exhibit which took place in two classrooms of a school just outside the Forbidden City where there are many ancient hutongs and courtyard houses. The exhibit lasted 4 days.

Abstract art in China was born in the early 80’s with artists such as Huang Rui considering abstract forms as a way to lead the path of abstraction into new forms of self expression and expression of a pure form in China, until his move to Japan in December 1984.

“…Huang Rui (is) one of the important pioneers of new abstract forms in China, which can be seen in his Space Structure series and their deliberation of the space of painting and of urban (re)form in China.” (Tom Berghuis, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum In New York.)


Language Color Paintings 2014 - 2015

Before founding the Stars, Huang Rui was friend a friend of Bei Dao and Mang Ke. They founded Magazine Today. Huang Rui took a different path after depicting realist scenes (Stars period) he got interested in words, text, the ritual, and the concept form of text.

For Huang Rui, text is not an accessory, it does not accompany images. The text is the image, the center of the work, and it’s content and form.

Huang Rui’s return from his first exile in Japan in 1993 marked a turning point in his relationship to color and text. He abandoned large calligraphic paintings in favor of visually presenting political texts. These texts fill the canvases just as color once had. He painted the slogans, extracts from the communist essays in the centers of his canvas. His paintings signed the power of language and the deceptiveness of this power. By focusing on the reading of an enlarged text on a canvas out of scale and context, we realize the absurdity hidden behind it. From 2000 onward, Huang Rui revealed hidden meanings by manipulating the text and inventing puns with political and social implications. These humorous inventions have become a trademark of his. The text often limited to a few Chinese characters or a simple English word is not painted directly on the canvas, but integrated into the texture of the painting, or into other media such as photography or cast iron sculpture. This association between the word and its plastic rendering is meaningful. In his search for the visual and artificial space, Huang Rui was one of the first artists in China to conceptualize and create a Chinese character in 3 dimensional form. He adds a dimension to language thus masking the character’s visual, audial, and spatial qualities.

Huang Rui is obsessed with culture, history, but stands firmly in the present. He is an artistic link between China’s past wisdom and it’s current development.