Wang Guangle (b. 1976, Fujian, China) is recognized as a pioneer of conceptual painting in China. He was a founding member of the N12 artist group, unified by their break from the traditions of representational painting toward individual expression. He has garnered critical praise for his process-based paintings, wherein the artist translates abstract qualities of the world—such as the passage of time—into paint, simultaneously referring to the materiality of the medium and the act of painting through abstraction and repetition.
Wang has been the subject of several one-artist exhibitions at venues including Beijing Commune (2009, 2011, 2015), and the Soka Art Center, Taipei (2011). Since 2000, his work has been featured in over ninety group exhibitions, including China’s ReVision: Focus Beijing, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany (2008); Prague Biennale (2009); Busan Biennale (2010); Spin: The First Decade of the New Century, Today Art Museum, Beijing (2012); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists’ Concept & Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (2013); 28 Chinese, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2015); and Constellation, Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery, Tbilisi, Georgia (2017).
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by renowned Chinese artist Wang Guangle. Wang’s fourth international exhibition with Pace and third solo show in New York, Duo Color will be on view at 510 West 25th Street from January 11 through February 9, 2019, with an opening reception for the artist held on Thursday, January 10, from 6 – 8 p.m.
One of the preeminent contemporary abstract painters, Wang’s work is rooted in an investigation of painting’s temporality and in the power of the canvas as a vessel of labor and marker of time. He recalls an historical tradition of ancient Chinese scholars and approaches the act of painting as a daily practice for personal moral cultivation and spiritual exploration. This exhibition will showcase a selection of 14 new acrylic on canvas paintings, which reflect the artist’s use of a uniform brushstroke and systematic application of paint. Wang applies each layer of paint beginning from the far edges of the canvas and working precisely inward to the center, creating a subtle gradation of color and the effect of an illuminated rectangle or void. This considered technique gives his paintings a potent illusionistic depth, with the varying tones of the composition acting as a subtle framing device for each work.
While in past series, Wang has focused each painting on a single hue, for this new series he has chosen pairs of contrasting colors. He slowly layers the pigments over days and months with a precision that makes one color appear to naturally progress to its opposite—evolving two originally conflicting colors into a harmonious one. Within Wang’s practice and the cultural background from which his work emerges, the notion of “color” refers to a Buddhist concept used to capture the appearance of the material world, which is considered the result of the illusions and agonies of people’s minds. The artist’s diligent act of reconciling and uniting two opposing colors can be understood as the symbolic harmonization of the conflicting relationship between the physical and the spiritual worlds—resulting in a final painting, which the artist describes as the “shape of the psyche.”