Qiu Xiaofei’s (b. 1977, Harbin, China) paintings—along with related drawings, sculptures, and installations—evoke a dreamlike state of memory and awaken the potentials of perception that are hidden in the depths of the mind. His current multi-disciplinary work combines drawings with sculptures and act as a chronological recorder of the artists’ history. As he explores various parts of his memory or “thought diversions” as Qiu Xiaofei calls them, they allow him to delve deeper into his “procedural, subconscious and personal experiences.”
Qiu’s work has been featured in major group exhibitions internationally, including Back, Beijing Contemporary Art Museum (2001); Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2005); The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool (2007); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept & Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, exhibited jointly by the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida (2014); and Discipline with Master' s Dignity - Teaching & Research, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (2018).
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to announce Double Pendulum, Qiu Xiaofei’s first solo exhibition in North America. Comprised of a group of new paintings, the exhibition will be on view at 510 West 25th Street from March 11 to April 23, 2016. An opening reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Danielle Shang.
Qiu’s work is concerned with the expression of psychological and cultural forces through art, painting especially. The artist spent approximately the first decade of his career working in a representational style, painting objects from his personal and familial history to address his relationship with the past. Continuing to interrogate these same ideas, Qiu shifted to an abstract style circa 2012, exploring the potential of gestures, forms and colors to express the social subconscious.
In Double Pendulum, Qiu continues in this vein. Using palette knives, sprays guns, brushes, and other implements, Qiu creates improvisational works, reacting to and against drips, sprays and forms as they materialize on the canvas. His choice of acrylic paint—quicker drying than oils—forces him to work at a fast speed, which contributes to the looseness of his gestures and the negotiations between forms, suspending the paintings in an air of unresolved feeling. His process and speed are a means to translate his unconscious—which he construes as a repository for various cultural, social and political factors that have shaped him—onto the canvas, arriving at a purer form of self-expression untainted by rational thinking.
Although his work veers toward abstraction, figures and carefully rendered three-dimensional solids—cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones—are interspersed into the works. For Qiu, these forms evoke the rigors of his technical training and suggest an aesthetic entrenched in artificial rationalism. In other works, the artist collages mixed media elements onto or near the paintings, forcing these concrete and tangible objects to reconcile with the flatness of the picture plane. These pairings of opposite underscore the tension between the rational and irrational and further highlight the expressive psychology of his paintings.
Qiu Xiaofei (b. 1977, Harbin, China) studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing from 1998 to 2002. He is amember of the N12 group of Central Academy of Fine Arts graduates who began staging shows together in 2003.
He has had solo exhibitions at institutions including the Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (2006); Doosan Art Center, Seoul (2009); and Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2013). His group exhibitions include Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, which originated at the Kunstmuseum Bern in 2005 and toured Europe and the United States until 2009; The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool (2007); Negotiations: The Second Today's Documents, Today Art Museum, Beijing (2010); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept & Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); and My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, Orange County Museum, Newport Beach, California (2015). Qiu was also included in the tenth edition of the Havana Biennial (2009) and MengLong-Oscurità at the 2011 Venice Biennale.
This is his second solo exhibition at Pace.
2016. Pace Gallery. Paperback
54 pages: 31 color illustrations; 10 ½ x 10 ½ inches