Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents Wang Xingwei survey

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art presents Wang Xingwei, a mid-career survey of the leading Chinese painter on view 19 May–18 August 2013.

Wang Xingwei, Untitled (Watering Flowers), 2013. Oil on canvas, 240 x 200 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Urs Meile.

Wang Xingwei, Untitled (Watering Flowers), 2013. Oil on canvas, 240 x 200 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Urs Meile.

The exhibition will feature a grouping of paintings which highlight Wang’s career from 1993 to the present, illustrating both the depth of his painterly talent and the breadth of his explorations over the past two decades. Organized by UCCA Director Philip Tinari in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition will span the entirety of the UCCA’s iconic Great Hall, the first time this space has ever been given over to a solo retrospective devoted strictly to painting. This is Wang Xingwei’s first major institutional exhibition, and the accompanying catalogue is his most comprehensive monograph to date.

Since the early 1990s, Wang Xingwei (b. 1969, Shenyang; lives and works in Beijing) has pioneered a painterly vision that links Chinese contemporary art intelligently to its Western referents, Socialist Realist precedents, and immediate cultural context through a universe of recurring characters rendered in seemingly infinite subtle variations of style and composition. Wang is reflexive about the visual language he has inherited, but relentlessly inventive in its deployment. An artist known for his quirky sensibility and sharp wit, Wang freely appropriates style and content from different traditions, employing them in highly creative and dramatic scenarios.

Comprising 70 works, the exhibition features a maze-like, non-chronological layout in which the space is subdivided into three major sections based on the relationship of the painter or viewer to the figure depicted: rear views, profiles, and frontal views. This logic paradoxically also serves to group the works thematically and serially. Most of the works on view have been borrowed back from private collections in Europe and throughout China, and have never before been seen together.

In bringing together Wang’s key achievements of the first two decades of his career, this exhibition will contribute significantly to the reassessment and elevation of a key figure in contemporary Chinese art, who through the complexity of his vision proves the depth and richness of the tradition to which he belongs.

Major support for this exhibition comes from Mr. Qiao Zhibing and Galerie Urs Meile, with additional support from the Fondation Guy & Myriam Ullens. Further support comes from the UCCA Patrons Council. Duvel Moortgat have generously supported the exhibition opening.

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
Beijing, China
T 86 10 5780 0200
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