Wang Guangle (b. 1976, Fujian, China) received a BFA in oil painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2000. Wang has had 5 solo exhibitions and has participated in nearly 80 group exhibitions. The artist has been included in various international exhibitions at prominent institutions, notably Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art Bozen/Bolzano, Bozen, Italy; White Rabbit Art Museum, Sydney, Australia; The Orange County Museum of Art, California, U.S.A and Rubell Family Collection and Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, U.S.A. His works were included in Busan Biennale at Busan Cultural Center, Busan, Korea in 2010 and Prague Biennale 4 in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 2009. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
London—Pace London is pleased to announce Yellow, the first solo exhibition of work by Wang Guangle in Europe. The exhibition will be on view on the ground floor gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens from 18 March to 16 April 2016.
One of the preeminent abstract painters of his generation in Beijing, Wang’s work is rooted in questions of painting’s temporality and the canvas as a vessel of labour and marker of time. The exhibition at Pace London will include a selection of recent paintings by the artist that evince the spirit and style of his work from the past decade. The exhibition also accounts for an unprecedented use of yellow in Wang’s work. Although he has no prescribed meaning for the colour, he embraces its various associations, from timidity and carefulness to a more Chinese connotation of the erotic.
In his Coffin paintings, thin strips of acrylic paint line the canvas, wrapping around the frontal surface and leaving the trace of drips. Wang typically begins by painting the entirety of the canvas. Subsequent layers of paint—added over periods of several weeks—decrease in size, leading to the striped effect that characterizes the works as well as thick agglomerations of paint that evoke the material’s physicality. This additive layering process finds its origins in Wang’s home province, Fujian, where elder men annually add a fresh layer of lacquer to their coffins in anticipation of their death. Wang stresses this temporal element in this body of work by including the date of the work’s completion in its title.
The Untitled paintings mirror this process of scaling and accumulation in the Coffin works while placing a greater emphasis on geometry. Wang paints rectangular fields, each layer progressing farther from the edge and closer to the centre, creating a subtle gradation of colour and the effect of an illuminated rectangle or void. In these works, the question of abstraction arises; for Wang, abstraction is less a means of nonfiguration and more of record that most abstract of phenomena: time.