ACTUALITES - 2020
Chen Zhen / Catalogue Raisonné
Tome / volume I (1977 - 1996) et Tome / Volume II (1997 - 2000)
ADAC – Association des Amis de Chen Zhen
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Chères amies et chers amis,
Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milano, Italy
Curated by Vicente Todolí
15 October 2020 - 21 February 2021
The display includes more than twenty Large-scale installations created by the artist in the last ten years of his life, until 2000.
“Short-circuits” is conceived as an immersive exploration within the complex artistic research of Chen Zhen (Shanghai, 1955—Paris, 2000), bringing together for the first time some of the artist’s most significant works from 1991 to 2000 in the Navate and Cubo spaces of Pirelli HangarBicocca.
Chen Zhen developed his art from the late 1970s. Born and raised in Shanghai, he lived through the Cultural Revolution in China during his adolescence and moved to Paris in 1986. While initially oriented towards painting, he gradually moved towards the creation of installations (creating his first one in 1989). In them, he brought together everyday objects such as beds, chairs, and tables, assembling them in compositions that took the items away from their original functions and into a metaphorical dimension.
Chen Zhen’s art paradigmatically reflects his wish to find a visual synthesis that would integrate the aesthetic dimension of his homeland with that of the places he came in contact with, in a constant, fluid exchange between Eastern and Western thought.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by the artist’s creative method, which he referred to as a “short-circuit phenomenon”, which is that of revealing the hidden meaning of a work of art when it is taken from the original setting for which it was created to a different place. This process led Chen Zhen to reflect on the concept of symbolic and cultural enrichment as a means of artistic creation. The idea behind the exhibition reflects this, creating original interactions between the works on display, while also shedding light on the numerous cross-references and connections that appear in the artist’s works, creating an open dialogue on a number of themes: globalization and consumerism, overcoming the hegemony of Western values, and the coming together of different cultures.
His most notable solo exhibitions include those at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2015); Musée Guimet, Paris (2010); Mart – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento and Rovereto (2008); Kunsthalle Wien (2007); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003–4); Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC), Milan, and MoMA PS1, New York (2003); Serpentine Gallery, London (2001); GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2000); Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2000); Cimaise & Portique, Albi (2000); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1998); The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1994); Le Magasin, Grenoble (1992).
His works have been included in many group shows at some of the most prestigious institutions, including Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York (2017-18); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2007-08); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (2000-01); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1994); Grand Palais, Paris (1988). The artist has also participated in the 4th Lyon Biennale, 2nd Gwangju Biennale (1997); several editions of the Venice Biennale (2009, 2007, 1999); 3rd Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (1999-2000).
Le Rite suspendu / mouillé, 1991
Fu Dao / Fu Dao, Upside-down Buddha / Arrival at Good Fortune, 1997
Jue Chang, Dancing Body – Drumming Mind (The Last Song), 2000
2020+ Red Brick Museum, Beijing
August 1- October 18，2020
Curated by Yan Shijie
Artists: Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Zhen, Olafur Eliasson, Hong Hao, Huang Yong Ping, Liang Shaoji, Lin Tianmiao, Anne Rochat, Rachel Rose, Anri Sala, Song Dong, Tao Hui, Wang Gongxin, Yang Zhenzhong, Yin Xiuzhen
“About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place”
-W. H. Auden
After British poet W. H. Auden visited the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels in 1938, he incorporated his feelings on seeing the work of sixteenth-century Dutch master Pieter Bruegel the Elder into his very visual poem “Musée des Beaux Arts.” Here, suffering, tragedy, and life are presented in interlocking scenes, and gloom and desolation are revealed amidst the calm.
In 2020, we have been confronted with the most difficult pandemic in one hundred years, and sudden public crises and social upheavals have blanketed the globe. All of the known coordinates for the individual and the collective, life and nature, the present and eternity have led to a crossroads. Yan Shijie, curator of this exhibition, noted, “2020 has already become a ‘boundary stele’ for us, and tangible and intangible words have become frozen in eternal collective memories.” Through the unique ideas and actions of fifteen artists, “2020+ attempts to open a multi-dimensional space for understanding.
Chen Zhen created Crystal Landscape of Inner Body using the insights from facing death, placing twelve fragile crystal organs, including the heart, liver, and lungs, on a transparent bed to inspire introspection and sudden awareness.
Chen Zhen - Crystal Landscape of Inner Body, 2000
陈箴 - 水晶体内风景，2000
Shanghai Waves: Historical Archives and Works of Shanghai Biennale
Power Station of Art
July 31 to November 15, 2020
The Power Station of Art is going to launch “Shanghai Waves: Historical Archives and Works of Shanghai Biennale” from July 31 to November 15, 2020, reproducing more than sixty works by fifty-two domestic and foreign artists and groups, including paintings, installations, videos, etc. Most of these exhibits are from the collection of previous editions of the Shanghai Biennale held in the China Art Museum and the Power Station of Art. The exhibition is built on two cross-referential documentary threads, which serve as the development course of the era linked up by major events, and personal objects, photos, materials and other documents at the courtesy of many artists. By converging personal memories into a historical narrative framework, the exhibition shall present the history of the Shanghai Biennale with feelings and evolutions, in order to inspire and enlighten viewers by revisitng the past and considering the present in the post-pandemic period when they are forced into a slowdown and standstill.
Moinak Biswas, Chang Qing, Chen Junde, Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Zhen, Willem De Rooij, Ding Yi, Fang Lijun, Regina Jose Galindo, Gu Wenda, Hong Hao, Hu Xiangcheng, Huang Yongping, Ji Dachun, Leandro Katz, Liang Shaoji, Liang Shuo, Liu Qingyuan, Liu Wei, Luo Yongjin, Mao Yan, Yasumasa Morimura, Bird Head, Qiu Anxiong, Qu Fengguo, Raqs Media Collective, Shang Yang, Surabhi Sharma & Tejaswini Niranjana, Shen Fan, Gagandeep Singh, Wang Tiande, Weng Fen, Cell Art Group, Xia Junna, Xia Yang, Xiang Liqing , Xiao Qin, Xu Zhen, Yan Peiming, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Enli, Zhang Huan, Zhang Jianjun, Zhang Peili, Zhang Yu, Zhang Zhenggang, Zhou Changjiang, Zhou Chunya, Zhou Tao, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Xiaohu (in alphabetical order)
About Shanghai Biennale
The initial intention of the Shanghai Biennale was very simple, that is, to build a platform for Chinese artists to effectively communicate with the world, and to open a window for Chinese audience to understand the world's most cutting-edge artistic thinking and creation. Fang Zengxian (1931-2019), initiator of the Shanghai Biennale, wrote in his word to the first Shanghai Biennale, “China should have its own international art exhibition. In order to achieve two-way selections and equal exchanges in a real sense, it is a noble ideal of art, and also the only way in history.” The 1st Shanghai (Fine Art) Biennale “Open Space” mainly displayed easel paintings by domestic painters, and many of them applied mixed materials to experimental creation. In addition, the exhibition featured the installations by Chen Zhen, Gu Wenda, and Zhang Jianjun, who are Chinese artists active overseas.
Since 2012, the Power Station of Art in Shanghai has been the host organization and permanent main venue for the Shanghai Biennale. From the first edition “Open Space”, the second “Inheritance and Exploration”, the 3rd edition “Shanghai Spirit: A Special Modernity”, the 4th edition “Urban Creation”, the 5th edition “Techniques of the Visible”, the 6th edition “Hyper Design”, the 7th edition “Translocalmotion”, the 8th edition “Rehearsal”, the 9th edition “Reactivation”, the 10th edition “Social Factory”, the 11th edition “Why Not Ask Again”, to the 12th edition “Proregress”, the Shanghai Biennale has been taking Shanghai as its matrix, while adhering to the mission of academic and cultural innovation. It continues to track social changes and the trend of knowledge production in the global context with an open vision, and has become a large-scale international contemporary art biennale and exchange platform in Shanghai.
Chen Zhen：Game Table—Gold First Among the 36 Stratagems， 1996
“海浪——历届上海双年展文献及作品展”，重现52位/组国内外艺术家的60余件历届上双参展作品，涵盖绘画、装置、影像等多种形式。本次展览作品多来自于中华艺术宫（原上海美术馆）和上海当代艺术博物馆历年来的上海双年展藏品。展览还将设置两条相互对照的文献线索，分别是以大事件串联的时代发展脉络，以及由诸多艺术家提供的私人物件、照片、资料等文献。通过将个人记忆汇聚入历史汪洋的叙事框架，展览将谱写出一段独具情感、波涛涌动、奔流不息的上双过往，以期在一个被迫减速与停摆的后疫情时期，给予观者引古证今的感触与启迪。 参展艺术家： 穆依纳克·比斯瓦思、常青、陈钧德、陈劭雄、陈箴、威廉姆·德·罗杰、丁乙、方力钧、瑞吉娜·侯赛·加灵多、谷文达、洪浩、胡项城、黄永砅、季大纯、莱安德罗·卡茨、梁绍基、梁硕、刘庆元、刘韡、罗永进、毛焰、森村泰昌、鸟头、邱黯雄、曲丰国、Raqs媒体小组、尚扬、苏拉比·夏尔马与特贾斯维尼·尼南贾纳、申凡、加干迪普·辛格、王天德、翁奋、细胞小组、夏俊娜、夏阳、向利庆、萧勤、徐震、严培明、杨振中、张恩利、张洹、张健君、张培力、张羽、张正刚、周长江、周春芽、周滔、周铁海、周啸虎 （按照姓氏首字母排序） 关于上海双年展: 上海双年展最朴实的创立初衷便是为中国艺术家构筑与世界有效交流的平台，为中国观众打开一扇了解全球最前沿艺术思考和创作的窗户。上海双年展创办人方增先（1931-2019）在第一届上海双年展的展言中写道：“中国应该拥有自己的国际级的美术展览，为实现真正意义的双向选择和平等交流，这是艺术的高尚理想，也是历史的必经之路。”首届上海（美术）双年展“开放的空间”主要展示来自全国各地画家的架上绘画，其中也不乏诸多调动综合材料进行实验创作的作品。此外，展览更是呈现了陈箴、谷文达、张健君三位活跃于海外的中国艺术家的装置作品… 自2012年，上海当代艺术博物馆成为上海双年展的主办方暨永久主场馆。从第1届以“开放的空间”为主题，经过第2届“融合与拓展”、第3届“海上·上海 —— 一种特殊的现代性”、第4届“都市营造”、第5届的“影像生存”，第6届“超设计”、第7届“快城快客”、第8届“巡回排演”、第9届“重新发电”、第10届“社会工厂”、第11届“何不再问”，直至第12届“禹步”，上海双年展始终以上海城市为母体，秉承学术与文化创新的使命，以开放的视野持续追踪全球语境下的社会变革及知识生产趋势，成为每两年一次集结于上海的大型国际当代艺术展示与交流平台。
Ala Scaligera, Rocca di Angera (Va), Italy
18 May - 27 September 2020
Within the sphere of the artistic project promoted by the Princes Vitaliano and Marina Borromeo Arese, from 20 April 2020 the restored spaces of the Ala Scaligera inside the castle in Angera are hosting the third exhibition of contemporary art entitled Fantastic Utopias.The exhibition itinerary is curated by Ilaria Bonacossa with the collaboration of Galleria Continua.
Artists: Jonathas De Andrade, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Carlos Garaicoa, Antony Gormley, Shilpa Gupta, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Zhanna Kadyrova, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ornaghi & Prestinari, Kiki Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Ai Weiwei and Chen Zhen.
On display are the works of 15 international artists who, in their diversity, give rise to unexpected and perhaps even magical images and objects, both seductive and frightening at the same time, able to take us to alternative universes far removed from verisimilitude.
The fantastic, relegated to the world of childhood ever since the 19th century, has become the means to break with conventions and imagine what seems impossible and unknown. Each of these works uses the fantastic to talk of fantastic utopias into which society and its idiosyncrasies are transformed. These artists testify to how imagining an alternative reality offers the first step towards reaching it.
The exhibition has come about from the premise that in our post-real world, in which conflicts and political and environmental crises seem to follow each other in rapid succession, the fantastic and its representations have returned to being at the centre of contemporary reflections.
Phenomena and trends such as the worldwide success of Harry Potter, the Oscar for the film The Shape of Water (2017) or TV's obsession with Game of Thrones (2011–2019) are the proof of this. With the aim of escaping reality, we dream of being surrounded by magical creatures, we live thinking about monsters and battles between dystopian worlds, as though the secularization of society were to lead to the need to imagine ourselves in other worlds.
Chen Zhen: Les Textes de la lumière / La Lumière des textes, 1992
Metal, glass, neon, red pigment powder, earth, objects, red adhesive letters. 190 x 140 x 31 cm
Ph. Andrea Rossetti
View of the show: Fantastic Utopias
The artist-collector’s dream (a nice thing)
created by Nedko Solakov
Via del Castello 11
San Gimignano (Si)
February 22 – September 06, 2020
with Monica Bonvicini, Geta Bratescu, Daniel Buren, Chen Zhen, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ceal Floyer, Shilpa Gupta, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, Andrei Monastyrski, Rudi Ninov, Dan Perjovschi, Raymond Pettibon, Carol Rama, Karin Sander, Roman Signer, Dimitar Solakov, Artur Zmijewski
Galleria Continua is pleased to present “The Artist-Collector’s Dream (a nice thing)”: an exhibition that sees the Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov simultaneously engaged in playing multiple roles: artist, collector, architect of the realisation of one of his dreams. Ultimately, the creator of an inclusive and decidedly original exhibition project.
Nedko Solakov and his wife collect works by artists whom they value and whose work they love immensely. Over the years they have put together a vast collection composed mostly of small works; from this collection, Solakov selected sixteen artists from whom they have works and three - Chen Zhen, Anish Kapoor and Carol Rama - from whom they don’t have works, writing to them and inviting them to take part in his project for Galleria Continua in San Gimignano.
This exhibition therefore takes shape from Solakov’s desire to enrich, even if only temporarily, his collection with much larger or simply different works establishing a dialogue with the authors that configures through a series of texts with which he accompanies each of the works. Monica Bonvicini, Geta Bratescu, Daniel Buren, Chen Zhen, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Ceal Floyer, Shilpa Gupta, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, Andrei Monastyrski, Rudi Ninov, Dan Perjovschi, Raymond Pettibon, Carol Rama, Karin Sander, Roman Signer, Dimitar Solakov, Artur Zmijewski are the artists invited to take part in the project. In “The Artist-Collector’s Dream (a nice thing)” we meet a variety of artists, who differ widely with regard to their origins, artistic interests and formation. Some of these, having previously worked with Galleria Continua, are already familiar with the exhibition spaces of the former cinema-theatre, while others are new to them.
Nedko Solakov’s artistic production is inseparable from the autobiographical experience. He continuously applies a mechanism of overturning or upheaval - mixing original sources and imagination, and stimulating a sense of immediate sharing by the viewer; however at the same time he embraces wide- ranging themes and always takes into account the relationship between the real context and the way in which this influences events and the work of the artist. It adopts the most varied forms: installations, drawings, photographs, projections and performances. It is characterised by the frequent presence of writing and annotation. The boundary between drawing and writing is blurred and the written texts themselves become drawings. With a poetic - but biting - spirit, Solakov thus dismantles clichés and demystifies pre-established ideas, calling into question the system of art, collective ‘truths’ and the contradictions of human existence.
Chen Zhen: Six Roots Mémoire | Memory 2000
View of the show: The artist-collector’s dream (a nice thing)
"Allure of Matter: Material Art from China"
Smart Museum of Art
The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL, USA
7 February - 3 May 2020
Organized by the Smart Museum of Art in Hyde Park along with Wrightwood 659 in Lincoln Park, The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China (February 7–May 3, 2020) features 45 two- and three-dimensional works made from a range of unique and humble materials.
“The Allure of Matter brings to the fore an incredible roster of artists who have developed intensely personal connections with unconventional materials. Taken together, the works introduce a broader framework for understanding global contemporary art, which I call 'Material Art' or caizhi yishu, where material—rather than image or style—is the paramount vehicle of aesthetic, political, and emotional expression”, said Wu Hung, Smart Museum Adjunct Curator, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, and Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago. “Through their under-studied experimentations and often overlooked use of unconventional materials, the artists featured in The Allure of Matter have broken away from past art practices and styles. Their monumental works represent a multifaceted phenomenon that inspires us to ask big questions about our relationship to the everyday material world around us as well as the interrelationship between Chinese art and broader trends in contemporary art globally,” added Orianna Cacchione, exhibition co-curator and Smart Museum Curator of Global Contemporary Art.
The Allure of Matter showcases 45 works which are complementary in form, material, and visual effect. It is divided into two halves at the Smart Museum (24 works by 16 artists) and Wrightwood 659 (21 works by 14 artists). Notably, this presentation of The Allure of Matter expands upon the version debuted in spring 2019 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with nine additional works being shown only in Chicago.
The Allure of Matter features work by Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Chen Zhen, Gu Dexin, gu wenda, He Xiangyu, Hu Xiaoyuan, Huang Yong Ping, Jin Shan, Liang Shaoji, Lin Tianmiao, Liu Jianhua, Liu Wei, Ma Qiusha, Shi Hui, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Wang Jin, Xu Bing, Yin Xiuzhen, Zhan Wang, Zhang Huan, Zhang Yu, and Zhu Jinshi.
Crystal Landscape of Inner Body
Crystal, metal, glass
95 x 190 x 70 cm
Ph. Ela Biakowska
Courtesy: GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana