Pace Hong Kong, 15C Entertainment Building, 30 Queens Road Central
2016.11.25 – 2017.01.12
Pace Hong Kong presents the themed exhibition Chewing Gum II. A sequel to the 2015 themed exhibition Chewing Gum, this exhibition continues Pace Hong Kong's sustained focus on the individual creative states of contemporary artists of different temporal, regional and cultural backgrounds. The everyday act of “chewing” alludes to the way in which the globalized context tends to dispel, even dissolve cultural differences, and to how the participation of the viewer produces new intertextuality between the artworks. The exhibition will open to the public on Thursday, February 9, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, and remain on view until March 11.
The works in this exhibition typify postwar contemporary art and present a rich variety of expressive techniques. Chuck Close, born in 1940, is a representative figure of American realism. The artist, who suffers from prosopagnosia (also known as “face blindness”), uses photographic technology to repeatedly paint portraits of faces, employing novel techniques to assemble and filter the reality captured by the camera. He has made frequent breakthroughs and innovations in the portraiture tradition to develop a unique way of seeing the world. The tapestries in this exhibition are the result of a collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago that combines the traditional craft of tapestry with the artist’s unique method of disassembling images. These striking tapestries are the result of repeated experiments.
Yoshitomo Nara, who grew up in postwar Japan, received a wide range of postwar popular culture influences, from Western rock music to Japanese anime. His portraits have a clear psychological thread. The naive and rebellious children under his brush can be seen as the artist's sustained dialogue with his own childhood, one which also reveals much conflicting sentiment. Since their emergence, these images have found powerful resonance around the world.
George Condo, another artist heavily influenced by popular culture, fuses the threads of Pop art style and classic paintings, excavating centuries of art history through a uniquely clever and bizarre visual language. Mother and Child has a particularly strong art history thread. Its form alludes to the mother and child Renaissance motif, while the two faces show a “Looney Tunes” influence. The artist once described his art as “Artificial Realism.” Compared to the figures in Condo’s typical works, the figure in Facial Composition on Green Sky serves as a form of deconstruction of the image. The artist has completely done away with the facial features in a deconstruction rarely seen in his work. Among Condo’s works, Facial Composition on Green Sky carries many defining compositional traits, including round eyes and large ears.
The works of Israeli artist Michal Rovner, also born in the 1950s, is marked by conspicuous regional politics. In a totemic, fable-like approach, she places contemporary struggles within a broader historical vision. The video work featured in this exhibition, Shayara R1, was inspired by a stroll through Jerusalem’s Old Quarter at dawn. It presents swaying cypress trees and her own shadow repeatedly flitting among the dry rocks, forming connections between the poetic atmosphere and political contention.
The works of American artist Tara Donovan are influenced by postwar consumerist culture. The works are often based on mass produced industrial products and everyday objects, employing the geometric beauty of repetition to produce profound sculptural installations. She has won many major art awards, including the first Calder Prize, and the Macarthur Genius Grant, one of America’s most prestigious art accolades. The unique prints featured in this exhibition are based on different arrangements of broken glass. The artist challenges the internal reactions produced by artworks made from everyday objects. More than just structural shifts, these are allusions created by the entire mass of the material.
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