Sean Kelly is delighted to present Abstract by Nature, a group exhibition featuring major works by an international group of artists, each of whom engages both traditional and non-traditional methods to produce meditative works that have a distinctly timeless quality. Working with a broad range of media including painting, sculpture, ceramic, film and video, the artists included in Abstract by Nature share an interest in creating works that reflect, evoke or transform elements of the natural world into pure poetic forms, in balance with, and inspired by, natural and cultural environments.
Abstract by Nature features a diverse roster of emerging, mid-career and established artists including Callum Innes, Markus Karstieß, Hyun-Sook Song, Su Xiaobai, Wu Chi-Tsung and a selection of historic Chinese, Korean and Japanese ceramics. Positioning contemporary works of art alongside antiquities from the Heian Period, Tang Dynasty, Song Dynasties, and Muromachi periods, the exhibition proposes a dialogue between modern practices and traditional aesthetics.
Callum Innes (born 1962, lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland). One of the most internationally significant and revered abstract painters of his generation, Innes creates his paintings through a process of addition and subtraction, often removing sections of paint from his canvas's surface with turpentine to leave only the faintest traces of the pigment and memories of what was there before. The play between this seemingly simple, but unique process, simultaneously making and unmaking, underlies his extremely sophisticated body of work.
Markus Karstieß (born 1971, lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany). Karstieß's abstract ceramic sculptures draw from a wide range of firing techniques, in which irregularities of the material and the direct imprint of the artist's hand lead to the shape and form of the sculptures. In many cases his work is intended to be exhibited in relationship to plants specified by the artist. 'If you work with clay, you work with nature,' Karstieß states. 'You work with the past and the future at the same time.'
Song Hyun-Sook (born 1952, lives and works in Hamburg, Germany). Song's distinctive style and technique blends elements from both the West and the East. In her paintings, she uses tempera to create almost transparent, brushstrokes with each stroke representing a single movement. The works can be approached from both an abstract-meditative perspective and a figurative-symbolic viewpoint.
Su Xiaobai (born 1949, lives and works in Shanghai, China, and Düsseldorf, Germany). In 2002, Su began painting with lacquer–a centuries-old material and technique synonymous with East Asian culture–on linen and bricks, later experimenting with oils, sackcloth, clay, vines, and wood as a substitute for oil on canvas. These thick layers of vibrantly coloured lacquer create a balanced composition, while simultaneously integrating the artists own unique cultural and historical take on his heritage.
Wu Chi-Tsung (born 1981, lives and works Taipei, Taiwan and Berlin, Germany). Wu's body of work spans a wide variety of media, including photography, video, installation art, painting, and set design. Devoted to an analytical methodology used to produce and interpret images, he engages everyday objects and phenomena integrated with traditional aesthetics and distinctly contemporary post conceptual stratagems to create his unique work.
Press release courtesy Sean Kelly.