Opening in 16 May, 2020, ShanghART is pleased to announce an exhibition of renowned artist Yu Youhan—his first solo presentation at the gallery's Beijing location.
Starting in 1980, Yu Youhan has continued to explore abstraction for the past 40 years. On view in this exhibition will be eleven (groups of) significant paintings that the artist produced in the 2010s, revealing his aesthetic track from the last decade. Yu's abstract works on canvas, which are composed of dots, lines and forms, revolve around a kind of symbiosis between self and nature, and interaction between '循' ('xún', cycle) and '游' ('yóu', freedom).
循 (xún) means following rules or recurring—Yu seeks to explore the basic laws of nature and art, while the dynamic, eternal circle of life is suggested by his abstract compositions. 游 (yóu), on one hand, is about changes and developments, which emphasises the experimental and diverse properties of Yu's work according to formal logic; on the other hand, it can also refer to as 'a lighthearted excursion'. With the artist's age, as well as his decades long career, doing abstract art has become an even more enjoyable experience for Yu Youhan.
About the Artist
One of the most important and influential artists in China, Yu Youhan's artistic practice dates back to the 1970s, while the 1980s is widely considered the beginning of Chinese contemporary art. As a leading pioneer of Chinese abstract painting and political pop movement, Yu's oeuvre combines multiple perspectives, investigating the structure of cultural identity in China through various pictorial techniques. His paintings—ubiquitous yet intriguing—has had a major impact on the art scene, and inspired a younger generation of artists.
Yu Youhan was born in 1943 in Shanghai, where he continues to live today. Graduating from the Central Academy of Art and Design, Beijing in 1973, Yu represented China at the 22nd São Paulo Biennale (1994), the 45th Venice Biennale (1993) and the 1st Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1993). His work has been presented in numerous prestigious venues worldwide, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2018); Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Germany (2009); Groninger Museum, The Netherlands (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseilles (2004); National Art Museum of China, Beijing (1989) etc. Solo exhibitions include Yu Youhan: The Representational and The Abstract, ShanghART Shanghai (2017); Yu Youhan Retrospective - PSA China Contemporary Art Collection Series, Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2016); Yu Youhan 1973-1988, Long Museum (West Bund), Shanghai (2016); Yu Youhan: Yībān, Yuan Space, Beijing (2013); Yu Youhan's Paintings, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai (2011); Yu Youhan: Landscape of Yi Meng Shan, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai (2004); Yu Youhan: Ah! Us, ShanghART Fuxing Park, Shanghai (1999).
Press release courtesy ShanghART.