Zhang Enli - Hauser & Wirth
07 January 2014
Transparent Shelf, 2013
Oil on canvas
200 x 250 cm / 78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in
Zhang Enli’s forthcoming exhibition, The Box, allows the artist to focus on representing the everyday aspects of contemporary life, becoming ‘a champion of forgotten spaces and objects’. Rather than producing his work from observation, these subjects are taken from the artist’s memory, from photographs and whatever is close to hand in his studio. By choosing to enlarge these subjects Enli elevates the mundane to a grand status.
In each piece the artist applies loose washes of colour, seen in traditional Chinese brush painting, over pencil drawn grids which remain visible beneath the layers of paint, ‘ordering the chaos of contemporary life’. The muted tones and thin application of paint create the impression that the objects occupy a ‘liminal reality where only the essence of the object is depicted on the canvas.’
For his return to Hauser & Wirth, Enli has also taken his work in an exciting new direction, producing his first ever sculptural installation.
Zhang Enli has enjoyed many solo exhibitions in China, including the prestigious Shanghai Art Museum, and is also gaining recognition for his work internationally. He exhibited Space Paintings at the ICA last December and is currently showing at Museo d’Arte contemporanea di Villa Croce in Italy.
John Jones is pleased to have re-stretched Zhang Enli’s canvas works ahead of this show onto our specialist kiln dried tulip wood stretcher bars, designed to increase the longevity of fine art and provide a stable long-term support. This exhibition is a great chance to see how a renowned Chinese artist is challenging traditional perceptions of painting.