Pearl Lam Galleries is pleased to present a dual-space group exhibition at both the Pedder Building and H Queen's galleries in Hong Kong. Vis-à-vis asks viewers to consider the agency of gestural abstraction through the semiotics of sculpture. Bram Bogart, Ron Gorchov, Michael Staniak, Frank Stella, Su Xiaobai, and Zhu Jinshi create works that evade binaries of genre; they are decidedly not-painting, not-sculpture and not-architecture. Their artworks favour alloy and hybridity, often marshalling the sculptural qualities of paint to further the possibilities of painterly mark making.
The term 'autographic mark' entered our aesthetic lexicon following the conclusion of the Second World War when Abstract Expressionism dominated the Western art historical canon. At that time, abstract painting was characterized by gestural applications of paint whose appearance of spontaneity and all-over composition formed an artist's visual signature. Curator Kelly Baum recently described autographic marks as 'gestures that indexed the artist's distinct will, personality, and psychological state.' These autographic marks embodied a post-war exuberance, a new beginning for a global world order following the atrocities of the recent past. Over 70 years later, gestural abstraction has evolved in many directions. Some of these trajectories mine charged social realities, while other avenues serve as material reflections on a world ever more cynical, sceptical, dislocated, disenfranchised and yearning for authenticity, connectivity, and truth free from alternative facts. Vis-à-vis examines six currents of gestural mark making that question the function of gestural abstraction in our current cultural climate.
Press release courtesy Pearl Lam Galleries.