This spring, Pace Beijing is pleased to present Talking on Paper, a group exhibition featuring important works on paper. It gathers 28 significant artists from China and abroad, offering their unique perspectives through their fragmented thoughts - some speak out loud while others seem to whisper. The exhibition’s preview and opening will be on Saturday, April 16th, at 4 pm.
An easily acquirable medium, paper, plays a crucial role in almost every artist’s development. It faithfully records artists’ inspirations or ideas while also helping artists explore creative possibilities through its highly malleable potential. Its uncommon sense of lightness and softness endows it with an inherently elegant beauty.
The works on display span more than one century. Nude, a sketch by Pablo Picasso, was created in 1901 during the master’s momentous Blue Period when he started to develop expressive lines to depict portraits. Another work on display is a piece by Willem de Kooning, a key figure of the New York School, who depicts the human body in a sketch-like, abstract way through the use of smooth lines. In addition, four late works by the Spanish “National Treasure” artist Antoni Tàpies display this 80-year-old master’s extraordinarily refined visual language.
Several works from the 20th century’s most important illustrator Saul Steinberg show us the artist’s elegant and intellectually interesting world; his childlike honesty and sincerity emerges vividly on paper. Tara Donovan’s sculptural installation arranges and combines a large number of industrial paper products. Through the paper products’ repetitiveness and sense of order, the work possesses a distinctive abstract aesthetic; while the softness and instability of the paper gives the sculpture a life-like fragility and intimacy.
Paper’s special reaction to various painting tools and pigments expands the spacial dimensions of the artists’ language. The oil on paper piece by ZHANG Xiaogang is quite characteristic of the medium. Using paper, ZHANG leaves imperceptible nicking traces that transmute and smudge together with water stains in a classical temperament; thus, the artist’s typical images become more meaningful and profound. Kiki Smith’s large-scale work takes on the unique textures of handmade Nepalese paper that subvert the fixed scale and formation of most paper works. This expressive concept can also be seen in works on paper by LI Songsong, MAO Yan and Jim Dine.
From Joel Shapiro and Jennifer Bartlett we can clearly see subtle echoes between their sculptural installations and graphic works. These pieces outline the inner ideological contours of the artists.
This exhibition also includes wonderful works from Ding Yi, Hong Hao, Alfred Jensen, Robert Mangold, Ma Qiusha, Elizabeth Murray, Thomas Nozkowski, Oldenburg/ van Bruggen, Qiu Xiaofei, James Siena, Keith Sonnier, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Sun Xun, Keith Tyson, and Wu Jian’an. All the pieces on display present the mesmerizingcharm of works on paper. The exhibition will be on view until June 11th.