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HomePage Artists

b. 1979, China

Zhang Xuerui Biography

Beijing-based Chinese artist Zhang Xuerui predominantly works in abstract colour fields, painting smooth calculated monochrome canvases with tonal variations implemented through a repetitive grid-by-grid approach. While this formal exploration of the core qualities of colour and space remains a dominant concern, the artist also examines human relationships in her apparel- and furniture-based installations and textile artworks. With a growing presence on the international art circuit, her work has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs across Europe and Asia, and features in the Australian public collections of White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, and Cruthers Art Foundation, Perth.

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Born in Shanxi Province in 1979, Zhang's formal style is unique to her life and experience. Her artistic influences and education are rooted in China, where abstraction is more than a complex conceptual pursuit; it is an ordinary, everyday aesthetic seen in abstract designs ranging from calligraphy to historic imperial ornamentation. Her grids reflect the square used in practicing calligraphy more than any metaphysical concept. Graduating with a BA in 2004 from the Architecture department of Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, the artist displays principles of order and technical process common among architects in her painting technique.

Before the first brush stroke the overall tone of Zhang's canvas is meticulously pre-planned in sketches. Strictly dividing the canvas into an orderly grid, the artist typically applies three pre-set colours to separate corners. Establishing a gradient of tones through an interlocking grid process of gradually shifting colours, the artist works quickly on each row while the paint is still wet. Often the evidence of this process—the grid-lines and fast-paced blending strokes—are subsumed by the work's rhythmic pattern. Overall, the artist's process and the formal qualities in these artworks underpin an engagement with subtle gesture, drawing the audience's attention to the finest variations of colour within the cellular structure, whereby a single detail or moment rather than the whole preoccupies our vision.

Drastically more personal and emotive, Zhang's textile-based works and installations—such as Cotton print (2012) and Pulling Sweater (2011)—utilise blankets and clothing once worn by the artist or her family members. Cutting up these items associated with personal memories and experiences, and repurposing them to make new patterns and layouts—often resembling abstract painting—the artist expresses the nuances of her identity—both personal and cultural—through everyday materials.

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2019

Zhang Xuerui Featured Artworks

View All (11)
100 201904 - 1 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui100 201904 - 1, 2019Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
Cotton print by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang XueruiCotton print, 2012Mixed materials: used sheet etc.
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
432 201903 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui432 201903, 2019Acrylic on canvas
240 x 80 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
400 201805 - 1 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui400 201805 - 1, 2018Acrylic on canvas
240 x 240 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
216 201808 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui216 201808, 2018Acrylic on canvas
120 x 180 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
100 201712 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui100 201712, 2017Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
100 201803 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui100 201803, 2018Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work
100 201709 No.1 by Zhang Xuerui contemporary artwork
Zhang Xuerui100 201709 No.1, 2017Acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Galerie Urs Meile Enquire about this work

Zhang Xuerui Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Zhang Xuerui, The Everyday as Ontology at Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne
Closed
6 June–17 August 2019 Zhang Xuerui The Everyday as Ontology Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne

Zhang Xuerui Represented By

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