In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
For the upcoming edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, Timothy Taylor will bring a focused group exhibition that draws from within the gallery's programme. Participating artists include Antoni Tàpies, Shezad Dawood, Eddie Martinez, Sean Scully, Alex Katz and Josephine Meckseper. This is the sixth year that the gallery will exhibit at the fair. With Hong Kong operating as the flagship for Asian Art, Art Basel Hong Kong remains a focus for the gallery.
The fair is of great importance to the gallery given its recent involvement in China including the gallery's presence in the region, organising and sponsoring the Sean Scully tours in China in 2016 as well as Alex Katz's first solo exhibition in the country the same year.
Sean Scully's work at the fair engages with a history and practice of abstraction. While Scully's paintings and sculptures have since departed from the tightly-controlled grids of his early career, his works from this period (1970s), involving multiple layers of precise stripes, set the stage for his subsequent subversions. Scully is now easily recognised for his distinct striped paintings – so distinct in fact that David Cohen referred to his work as 'readymade abstraction'.
Shezad Dawood and Josephine Meckseper each utilise collage, assemblage and the readymade, to create unique works in painting, sculpture and moving image. Dawood's vintage textile paintings form a key element of the artist's multi-disciplinary practice.
The textiles on which Dawood's works are based were created throughout the 1970s by nomadic weavers in Pakistan. Composed of discarded scraps, the fabrics also attest to an earlier, more utopian globalisation, where patterns from Lagos, Kyoto, Shanghai and the Netherlands all informed the palette of pattern and colour. Meckseper can be seen within a lineage of artists working with a critique of consumerism. However, rather than adopting this method wholesale, the artist repurposes pre-existing models and materials. Her use of cultural typology as a readymade serves to connect the artist's magazines to her videos to her slat wall and vitrine sculptures.
Eddie Martinez's paintings, drawings and sculptures draw from a deep understanding of painting's histories, filtered through personal experience, popular culture, and subcultures such as graffiti and skateboarding. His works incorporate coarse brushwork and bold contours through the combination of mediums such as oil, enamel and spray paint and often include collaged found objects. Martinez has gained recognition for his manipulation of colour, that he applies aggressively and in vividly contrasting combinations, as well as his extraordinary use of line – a de Kooning-esque painterly language, bold colour and cartoonish forms. Eddie Martinez, described as 'indomitable' by Interview magazine, is one of the most promising artists of his generation. His solo show Cowboy Town is on view at the London gallery from the 30th March until 6th May 2017.
Antoni Tàpies remains an influential figure for his highly technical approach to materials and masterful, gestural mark making. Broadly, Tàpies's work investigates the essential 'void' and his diverse creative output shares a clear underlying quality: the suggestion of an intangible force, which is only sensed in its absence. Tàpies's use of assemblage became a signature of his work, particularly through the recurring use of windows, doors and beds. The familiar and humble attributes of these domestic objects reflect Tàpies's deep concern with a personal yet universal introspection, catalysed by the spirituality of the material world. Antoni Tàpies is also on view at the London gallery until the 18th of March.
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