Date: Sep 8th to Oct 28th
The advancement of human society’s material technology has alienated our daily life from Nature ever since the Industrial Revolution. The pressure from the outside world and the desolation we feel deep in ourselves are the price we paid for the material well-being we enjoy. Today, Nature becomes the only way to comfort our souls. AroundSpace Gallery is proud to present the fall 2018 exhibition, In Between Nature and Expression, showcasing four artists, Alois Lichtsteiner, Dou Rongjun, Liu Peng and Lu Dan’s, tribute to Nature.
In his Treatise on Mountains and Waters[i], Song Dynasty landscape painter Guo Xi stated, [t]he mist around the mountains is not the same at the four seasons. The mountains in spring are light and seductive as if smiling: the mountains in summer have a blue-green color which seems to be spread over them; the mountains in autumn are bright and tidy as if freshly painted; the mountains in winter are sad and tranquil as if sleeping. Roman poet Virgil also captured the seasonal beauty of Nature in his poem Georgics, [i]n the early Spring, when icy waters flow from snowy hills…[ii] Eternal Nature has always been a source from which artists draw inspiration and ordinary people obtain recreation. The four artists in this exhibition all turn to Nature for their subjects. They portray and pay homage to the moments of Nature in the forests, snows, lakes and clouds. Swiss artist Alois Lichtsteiner’s paintings of snow were just included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His Colorful Snows series is derived from impressions of the landscapes in Switzerland, yet can also be interpreted as abstract works. In an interview, Lichtsteiner indicated, (a) painting is a way of directing thoughts simultaneously inward and outward.” The bright colors we see in his snowscapes, are “not in reference to nature, the world of the mountains or such, but in the sense of expanding the abstract element.” Dou Rongjun brought us his recent works made during his residency at the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel. Despite staying in a bustling city like Shanghai, Dou depicted the mystery and texture of Nature in an Expressionist style. Liu Peng’s works drew ideas from internet images or found prints. His bold use of high saturated contrast colors, blue sky and orange bushes, as well as hard-edged color fields, intricate streams and rocks, is a cool summary of a kaleidoscopic Nature. Lu Dan created his most recent works around a series of multi-morphed clouds. By capturing the transformation of clouds, a moment in Nature, he reflected his own thoughts and art practice, embodied his imagination, and revealed myriad meanings of life.
Nature is an infinite treasure trove; it is a desired destination for people living in today’s urban society; it only exists in between reality and imagination. Not bound by figurative painting styles, these four artists are shaping images of Nature on canvas with individual judgment and abstract approaches. Their work finds a perfect expression in between Nature and their hearts.