The Pace Gallery in New York announced the opening of the first solo show of Chinese artist Wang Guangle in the US on June 22 and it will last until August 17th. The exhibition features seven new works from Wang’s Untitled series, which extends from his Coffin Paint series (begun in 2004).
These large-scale paintings are made by applying layers of acrylic paint to a canvas in a pre-determined order, resulting in heavily-built surfaces that take on illusionistic depth as the tone scale varies, with the lighter gray area surrounding the dark center functioning as a frame. Born from the Fujian tradition of elders’ preparing their coffins with a coat of lacquer for each year until their impending death, Wang adds paint to his canvas twice daily, with each layer farther removed from the painting’s edge. As the pigment accumulates, the center of the canvas builds and becomes nearly sculptural in dimension. The paintings transform cultural rituals and the passing of time into a purely formal language.
Wang Guangle (b. 1976, Songxi, Fujian province) trained at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, where he graduated from the oil painting department in 2000. Regarded as a leader among China’s younger generation of painters, he is a member of the N12, a group of graduates of the Central Academy of Fine Arts who began staging exhibitions together in 2003.
Wang Guangle’s solo exhibitions include Wang Guangle (2008) and Untitled (2011) at Beijing Commune. Important group exhibitions include N12 No.1, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing; The Third Exhibition of Chinese Oil Paintings, National Art Museum, Beijing (2003); Prayer Beads and Brush Strokes, Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing (2003); Ideal of New Generation: Chinese New Generation Artist Award Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen (2004); Sleight of Mind, TS1 Art Center, Beijing (2005); and New Interface: Landing of UP Generation, Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai (2006). He was included in the first two installments of Pace Beijing’s Beijing Voice exhibition (2011, 2010), an annual group show that considers and interprets current phenomena and ideas in contemporary art. Wang lives and works in Beijing.