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9 february 2021
Zhang Huan. Love as Wisdom Exhibition at GUM-Red-Line

The exhibition Zhang Huan. Love as Wisdom organized by GUM-Red-Line Gallery on Red Square is presented together with Pearl Lam Galleries. The exhibition is be dedicated to artworks created in 2020 by the famous contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huan. The State Hermitage presented paintings fr om the Love series created in 2020 during the Zhang Huan: In the Ashes of History exhibition. The art pieces will be a part of the large-scale retrospective at the Venice Biennale.

Zhang Huan reflects on love that “moves the sun and the stars.” Paintings from the Love series do not address the viewer in the language of frivolous passion. Seeing them, one imagines solemn multi-part chants steadily growing in intensity within a cave of an ancient monastery. Almost abstract red circles against a white background are unusual among the oeuvres of Zhang Huan who has extensively studied classical Chinese realism. The forms, reminding one at various times of a globe, the sun, or a naked heart, are not fully overt; they remain subtly elusive.

The exhibition space wh ere the two paintings — Love No. 2 and Love No. 7 — are presented is somewhat reminiscent of a monk’s cell — a place of prayer and meditation for the monastic painter. Zhang Huan sees art as the direct continuation of life, something explicitly connected with mundanity. That is why that monk’s cell is placed in the very heart of Moscow, the capital city of Russia, in a gallery overlooking the main square of Russia – Red Square. Within this space, filled with the sound of calming Tibetan music, there is a possibility to seclude oneself and completely immerse oneself in gazing at the two paintings in hopes of revealing the innumerable internal and external facets of love inside and from the outside. Buddhism views love primarily as compassion, empathy, the embodiment of the perfection of human nature, and, thus, the main condition for attaining immortality. If selfish love precludes us from enlightenment, then reverential, compassionate love allied with respect for the identity of another person allows us to gain rightful salvation.

Zhang Huan was born in 1965 in the city of Anyang, Henan Province, China. Zhang Huan received his B.A. from Henan University in the city of Kaifeng in 1988. In these early years, he was greatly influenced by the paintings of Rembrandt van Rijn and Jean-François Millet. Five years later, in 1993, Zhang Huan graduated with an M.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and around this time started creating performance works, which tested his physical and mental endurance. He continued to produce paintings, too, also mastered the art of photography and sculpture. His time spent living and working in America, from 1998 to 2005, was hugely influential for him. As an artist, Zhang Huan is well known throughout the world. He lives and works in Shanghai and New York, combining western artistic techniques with concepts traditionally associated with Chinese culture.

The exhibition is open until April 8, 2021.


9 february
Zhang Huan. Love as Wisdom Exhibition at GUM-Red-Line

The exhibition Zhang Huan. Love as Wisdom organized by GUM-Red-Line Gallery on Red Square is presented together with Pearl Lam Galleries. The exhibition is be dedicated to artworks created in 2020 by the famous contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Huan. The State Hermitage presented paintings fr om the Love series created in 2020 during the Zhang Huan: In the Ashes of History exhibition. The art pieces will be a part of the large-scale retrospective at the Venice Biennale.

Zhang Huan reflects on love that “moves the sun and the stars.” Paintings from the Love series do not address the viewer in the language of frivolous passion. Seeing them, one imagines solemn multi-part chants steadily growing in intensity within a cave of an ancient monastery. Almost abstract red circles against a white background are unusual among the oeuvres of Zhang Huan who has extensively studied classical Chinese realism. The forms, reminding one at various times of a globe, the sun, or a naked heart, are not fully overt; they remain subtly elusive.

The exhibition space wh ere the two paintings — Love No. 2 and Love No. 7 — are presented is somewhat reminiscent of a monk’s cell — a place of prayer and meditation for the monastic painter. Zhang Huan sees art as the direct continuation of life, something explicitly connected with mundanity. That is why that monk’s cell is placed in the very heart of Moscow, the capital city of Russia, in a gallery overlooking the main square of Russia – Red Square. Within this space, filled with the sound of calming Tibetan music, there is a possibility to seclude oneself and completely immerse oneself in gazing at the two paintings in hopes of revealing the innumerable internal and external facets of love inside and from the outside. Buddhism views love primarily as compassion, empathy, the embodiment of the perfection of human nature, and, thus, the main condition for attaining immortality. If selfish love precludes us from enlightenment, then reverential, compassionate love allied with respect for the identity of another person allows us to gain rightful salvation.

Zhang Huan was born in 1965 in the city of Anyang, Henan Province, China. Zhang Huan received his B.A. from Henan University in the city of Kaifeng in 1988. In these early years, he was greatly influenced by the paintings of Rembrandt van Rijn and Jean-François Millet. Five years later, in 1993, Zhang Huan graduated with an M.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and around this time started creating performance works, which tested his physical and mental endurance. He continued to produce paintings, too, also mastered the art of photography and sculpture. His time spent living and working in America, from 1998 to 2005, was hugely influential for him. As an artist, Zhang Huan is well known throughout the world. He lives and works in Shanghai and New York, combining western artistic techniques with concepts traditionally associated with Chinese culture.

The exhibition is open until April 8, 2021.


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