Shi Zhiying, The Infinite Lawn, 2012; Oil on canvas, 200×300cm

James Cohan Gallery Shanghai announced the opening of the solo exhibition The Infinite Lawn by Shanghai-based artist Shi Zhiying on May 26 and it will continue through to July 26, 2012. This is the artist’s debut exhibition at the gallery.

Known for her stark black and white paintings depicting vast views of the sea, endless landscapes of scattered rocks, traditional sand gardens and intricate blades of grass, Shi’s paintings are deeply visceral and contemplative at the same time. “I wish to face things quietly, attentively” the artist has stated, “I treat painting [and objects] sincerely; I am communicating with them….”

The exhibition features Shi Zhiying’s recent project Palomar, a set of 30 watercolor and ink works inspired by the book Mr. Palomar by Italian writer Italo Calvino (1923-1985). The novel’s central character, whose name also evokes that of a famous observatory, continuously makes philosophical observations and speculations about the world around him—a wave, the rays of the sun, a pair of turtles, a sand garden—all leading to ruminations on the nature of things and Beings towards the universal. Each of Shi’s 27 works corresponds to a single chapter.

The centerpiece to the exhibition, The Infinite Lawn, is a large scale painting which also refers to one of the novel’s key chapters. The Grass painting series was started in 2010. As in Shi’s earlier seascape paintings or her recent Mars and Sand series, grass is one of the motifs the artist keeps returning to, eliminating all that is nonessential and to further distill its essential characteristic. Or, as Shi Zhiying might ask, “Are any two blades of grass ever alike?”

Shi Zhiying (born in Shanghai, 1979) graduated from the Oil Painting Department, Shanghai University Fine Arts College. In 2009, Shi Zhiying was the subject of a major solo exhibition From the Pacific Ocean to the High Seas at the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art in Beijing. Her work has been featured in distinguished group exhibitions, including 2011 N Minutes Video Art Festival, Shanghai, China; 2011 Decade of the Rabbit, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia; 2011 DAS ICH IM ANDEREN, Stiftung Mercator, Essen, Germany; 2010 Double Act – 2010 Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Red Town Warehouse, Shanghai; 2010 Centennial Celebration of Women in Art, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, and a solo exhibition at White Space in Beijing in 2010. She currently works and lives in Shanghai.

About the Exhibition

Duration: May 26 through July 26, 2012

VIP opening reception: May 26th, 2012, Saturday, 6-8 pm

Venue: James Cohan Gallery Shanghai

Address: 1F, Building 1, No.170 Yueyang Road, by Yongjia Road

Courtesy of Shi Zhiying and James Cohan Gallery Shanghai, for further information or additional images, please contact Ms. Ivy Zhou at or +86 – 21 – 54660825 *602.


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