Zhao Gang: History Painting

by Ottavia Brey

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is set to mount an exhibition of Stars Group artist Zhao Gang’s paintings this May.

ZHAO GANG   .   The Good Times , 2007. Oil on canvas. 61 x 51 3/16 inches.  Courtesy of the artist and Jack Tilton Gallery

ZHAO GANG. The Good Times, 2007. Oil on canvas. 61 x 51 3/16 inches.

Courtesy of the artist and Jack Tilton Gallery

As the youngest member of the Stars Group, Gang belonged to the People’s Republic of China’s first avant-garde arts collective in the 1980s. The Beijing-based group, whose members included Ai Weiwei, paved the way for contemporary Chinese art.

ZHAO GANG .  A Corridor of the Classroom,  2014. Oil on canvas. 110 1/4 x 78 3/4 inches.  Courtesy of Frank F. Yang Foundation, Guangzhou

ZHAO GANG. A Corridor of the Classroom, 2014. Oil on canvas. 110 1/4 x 78 3/4 inches.

Courtesy of Frank F. Yang Foundation, Guangzhou

The paintings, which span from 1997-2015, represent a response to Communist ideology, censorship, and globalism. Both Chinese and American, Gang considers himself an outsider in both cultures, and the exhibition aims to reflect complex cross-cultural aspects of his artistic practice. The artist, along with guest curator Christian Viveros-Fauné, have hung a number of pieces within a 130 square foot apartment space built within one of the museum’s galleries. The “salon style” display is meant to mimic the practice which became common in the 1980s among Beijing artists who had difficulty obtaining exhibition opportunities and government-approved venues.

ZHAO GANG.   Untitled Landscape,  2006. Oil on canvas. 35 7/16 x 47 1/4 inches.  Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel, Draxler, Berlin/Cologne

ZHAO GANG. Untitled Landscape, 2006. Oil on canvas. 35 7/16 x 47 1/4 inches.

Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nagel, Draxler, Berlin/Cologne

Zhao Gang: History Painting opens on May 24th at PAMM.

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