Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai is pleased to hold an exhibition of bronzes by the world reputed sculptor Wang Keping. Wang Keping was considered as “one of the few artists with the capacity to influence the evolution of contemporary art” by curator of the Maillol Museum of Paris. The artist introduces approximately 20 bronzes transferred from wooden sculptures. It is the first bronze exhibition for Wang in China since his very first two artworks in the early 80s, which are “Silence” and “Idol”. Most of the sculptures are based on the themes that he is good at, which are “woman”, “bird” and “couple”. A nearly two-meter high sculpture – “La dame” will also be exhibited in the public space of Sinan Mansions. It is one of the most representative works of WANG. The artworks of WANG are constantly evolving, from “primitive art” in his early works towards simplified figures, uplifted breasts, fluttering hair, hugging couple and elegant perched birds. His sculptures show perfectly the natural veins and texture of wood, and come onto a different level and stage using Bronze of a sophisticated quality.
Wang Keping, one of the most reputed sculptors and one of the most important contemporary artists in China, has great influence on the history of Chinese contemporary art. In 1978, he created the first artwork of Chairman Mao Zedong after his death, from the vision of a young sculptor, and named it “Idol”. In 1979, he was one of the most active and dauntless artists in “the Stars”. The first revolution guided by this exhibition opened its door to the freedom of art in post-Mao Zedong era. In 1984, WANG migrated to France to continue his work.
Since “the Stars”, the artworks of Wang Keping are on the subject of woman, mother, child, man, couple, portrait and bird, most of which are abstract. Through some of his most famous works, we can perceive that his recent works are evolving gradually towards a natural conception. After the early primitive” sculptures came “simplified” figures. And they also oscillate between realist figures and almost abstract simplified forms. Through the use of contrast in the lines of the figure, he aligns his art with an allegory of Yin and Yang.
“Wood” is the source of inspiration in Wang Keping’s creation. Recreating from pre–existing forms may seem quite a challenge for a sculptor, who wants to reinvent both representation and figuration. That first step is more than poetic inspiration–it is a way to re–connect to the world. He is influenced by the French sculptors as well as Chinese traditional arts and ideas: works of Qi Baishi, sculptures from Han Dynasty, the nature of Taoism and the emptiness of dhyana (Zen), all became major subjects in his artworks. It became united as painting and meaning, gesture and thought, Wang Keping stepped outside of all notions of style – his art is dictated by nature. His artistic vocabulary is still unknown to the world of figurative sculpture.
“Bronze” is a special material. Because of its permanence, Bronze has been an indispensable part of Chinese cultural heritage since ancient times, almost throughout the whole history of Chinese Art. Transforming from wooden sculpture to bronze is what artists have been pursuing. The transformation takes advantage of the characteristics of bronze to make the sculptures more enriching and flinty. By reworking the works in every detail and personalizing them with a sumptuous patina, bronze is transformed and becomes a great balance of wood and metal, which can give play to the strong points of both. Regarded as the most collectable artist, Wang Keping locks himself in his studio every day, immerging in his creation. Now his golden age is coming.
It is the first time to present the bronzes of Wang Keping in China, homeland of the artist. In this exhibition, his artworks during the last 15 years will be presented to the public. Among them, “La Dame”, which is a 2-meter-high sculpture, will be displayed in the public area of the Sinan Mansions. This piece of work has already been exhibited at Avenue Champs-Elysées in Paris. Meanwhile, working on the subject of “birds and beasts” is a reflection of the artist’s distinctive personal style over these years. Birds and beasts are created on the base of the texture and form of wood. Regardless of the similarity, every piece reveals the artist’s unique style and dhyana (Zen). Another piece of work “Vase” is representative of sexuality. It is simple, magnificent, elegant, and it leaves the space for people to think.
“In my sculptures, I strive to find out what the origin of primitive Chinese art is. The further I go, the closer I am to my concept of contemporary art.” Quoted by the artist.
About the exhibition
Venue: Galerie Dumonteil Shanghai
Date: Oct 28 – Dec 16, 2012
Opening Event: 10/28/2012 17:00
Address: 22 Sinan Mansions,near 523 Fuxing Middle Road 200025 Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6418 6367