Duration / 2019.9.7 - 10.25Location / Tang Contemporary Art, 2nd Space, Beijing
当代唐人艺术中心荣幸地宣布，将于 2019 年 9 月 7 日在北京第二空间举办艺术家徐小国的个展《徐小国近作》。展览由崔灿灿策划，集中展现徐小国 2017 年至今最新创作的作品二十余件。
徐小国的近作中有着相似的情形。我们在一幅画作前，看到高耸的塔身和向上的引力，宛如纪念碑般肃穆。但我们很快又被细节吸引，在每个细节中，沿着亮光总能遇见阴影。但下一处的亮光又让我们徘徊不定，然后步入光与色，线与性的迷宫。色块散落般的分布，形状的韵律有着各自独立的秩序和法则，它分散了凝聚的结构，也成就了自身。而此刻那个坚固的塔身，在印象中早已远去。第三国际塔 Monument to the Third International，布面油画 Oil on canvas，300×300cm，2018-2019这些微妙的发生，来自于哪里？是描述瞬息世界的诗意，还是语言秩序的直叙？画面中只是一个个接连不断的图形，有时交迭混置，有时又全然脱离。我们无法找到理所当然的逻辑，也察觉不到过于浓烈的情感立场。显然，这批近作脱离了他之前语言学研究的纯然理性，也未堕入罗斯科式的悲惨戏剧。他的画面闪烁着细微情感的跃动，氛围又总是朦胧一片，然而他的手却出奇的肯定。肯定什么？在徐小国的画作中，现实世界只是一种启示，它从不决定画上的发生。你得把世界想象成一片空白，画家的手试图画出尚不存在的对象。形状只是经验与感受留下的证据，也预示着下一个未知形状的开始。这种感受，像是音乐的旋律，瞬间总是取决于前后音符的铺垫。所有的高光都始于结构，有结构，就有回声。于是，画面成了一个绵延不绝的时刻，不断的通过自身创造形状。只有第一根线出现的时候，接下来的一切才可能发生。现实世界中从未有绘画，它要经画家之手赋予形状、色彩，成为独一无二的存在。在这个意义上，画家是创造者，也是命名者。
但在徐小国全新命名的画面里，艳丽或是灰蒙蒙的颜色，只是它的视觉表象，只有光才会赋予事物色彩与形状。这里的空气闪烁着光晕，照亮每个东西的光线不是来自近处，而是来自远方，这是距离间的反射之故。最终的效果也变的与众不同：每个图形都有各自的氛围，它们拥有独自的灯塔。另一面，倾斜的线和弯曲的形状支配着这里的每个地方，我们既看不到地平线的可能，又无法联想到日常的空间。那些红色、蓝色和白色，偶尔有些硬边形，但局部总是残缺不全。我们很难在徐小国的画面中找到完整的形象，总是有一种跃动着、破碎着的感知，将我们的凝视所冲散。但画面里大部分的形象都经过多次描绘，从中心到周围，一遍接着一遍的反复确认。他在确认什么？我们发现徐小国所描绘的，不是事物的外表，而是外表所投射的内容。是光与影，形与线在现实中从未言明，在绘画中极少指出的，关于不连续性所带来的震惊，将一个个不连续的瞬间情感孤立出来的存在。水晶灯下的白色形状 White Shape under Crystal Lamp，布面油画 Oil on canvas，300×300cm，2018-2019
个展“空间纹体”现场，今日美术馆，北京，Exhibiton View"Xu Xiaoguo Solo Exhibition : From Space to Texture", Today Art Museum, Beijing，2014
个展“徐小国”现场，当代唐人艺术中心，北京，"Xu Xiaoguo", Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing，2015
作品展出于“纽约军械库博览会”，纽约，"THE ARMORY SHOW NYC", New York, 2015
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of “Xu Xiaoguo: Recent Work,” a solo exhibition for Xu Xiaoguo in the gallery’s second Beijing space, on September 7, 2019. Curated by Cui Cancan, the show will feature more than twenty works that Xu has created since 2017.
This is the third major exhibition that the artist has held with Tang Contemporary Art, following his eponymous solo show “Xu Xiaoguo” at the gallery’s first Beijing space in December 2015 and “Between the Green: Xu Xiaoguo” at the Hong Kong space in August 2016.The exhibition fully and clearly presents Xu's different creative stages and exploratory directions, as well as the secret connections between different series. From his initial spatial magic, to structural explorations divorced from reality, to his recent work full of detail and wit, Xu Xiaoguo's work reflects multiple intersections and perceptions in painting and spirit.
Xu Xiaoguo: Recent WorkLet us imagine a scene: we enter the forest, seeing the trees and the land. At a glance, everything is clearly visible. However, when we look closely, we begin to engage with the numerous trivial details before our eyes, which constantly magnify the things that we see, almost giving us a panoramic view. But as we carefully recollect and our eyes seek out points of light, the leaves become faint. When we focus on the trunks, we forget about the sky. We are always drawn in by diversion and discovery, unable to take it all in. The forest becomes a few vague shapes and colors, almost as if we can’t see anything.无题 Untitled，布面油画 Oil on canvas，70×80cm，2018
Xu Xiaoguo’s recent work is similar. When we stand in front of the painting, we see the lofty tower, solemn as a memorial, and it draws our eyes upward. However, we are very quickly drawn in by the details, and when you follow the light in those details, you always encounter shadows. The next light makes us indecisive, and we walk into a labyrinth of light and color, line and quality. The blocks of color are scattered, and the rhythms of the shapes have their own independent order and rules; they disperse concentrated structures and become themselves. At that moment, that steady tower seems so distant.
Where do these subtle occurrences come from? Are they describing the poetry of the ephemeral world, or are they directly narrating the linguistic order? The paintings simply contain an incessant stream of images, sometimes mixed together and sometimes completely distinct. We cannot find natural logic or observe an overly intense emotional stance. Obviously, these new works have departed from the pure rationality of his previous linguistic research, but they also show no hint of Rothko-esque tragedy. His works glitter with fine, quivering emotion. The atmosphere is always hazy, but his hand gives it extraordinary approval. What is he approving of?
In Xu Xiaoguo’s work, the real world is just inspiration; it never determines what happens in the painting. You have to imagine the world as a void, and the painter’s hand attempts to paint subjects that don’t exist. Shapes simply witness experiences and feelings, foreshadowing the beginning of the next unknown shape. It’s a bit like rhythm in music—the moment is always decided by the notes that come before and after it. All highlights begin with structure and have a structure and an echo. Therefore, painting becomes a continuous moment, constantly creating shapes. Only after the first line appears can everything that happens next actually take place. Painting never existed in the real world, and it is given shapes and colors through the painter’s hands, thereby becoming a unique presence. In this sense, the painter both creates a painting and gives it a name.
红光 Red Light，布面油画 Oil on canvas，60×75cm，2018
In Xu Xiaoguo’s entirely renamed works, vivid or dull colors are just their visual surfaces; only light gives objects color and shape. The air here flickers with an aura; the light that illuminates everything comes from far away, not nearby. This is the reflection of distance. The final effect is very different; every image has its own atmosphere—they have their own lighthouses. In another sense, the slanting lines and curved shapes are arranged everywhere, and we see the possibility of a horizon line, but this has no association with everyday spaces. The red, blue, and white occasionally form hard-edged shapes, but the details are incomplete. It is difficult for us to find complete forms in Xu’s images; there are always quivering, fragmented perceptions that divert our gaze. However, the majority of the images in the paintings have been depicted numerous times, moving from the center to the periphery, confirmed time and again. What is he confirming? We have discovered that Xu does not depict the exteriors of objects; he presents the content reflected by the surface. In reality, light and shadow, form and line are never stated explicitly, and there are very few references in the painting. The shock of continuity allows disconnected moments and emotions to exist in isolation.
When Naples yellow appears in the images, Xu Xiaoguo’s eyes slowly record and inspect it, noting down its aura and contours. In the distance, some other types of yellow appear hazier, and sometimes directly recede from our view; however, as the close-up depictions become even more refined, they order the mottled structure, rising or falling in different places. Around it, various shades of yellow intersect or replace one another, or vibrate against one another, and a block of brown flutters, surrounded by yellow. It can never be changed, but it is set off by its surroundings. The relationship between them is more than a connection; they accompany one another, just as shadow accompanies light and voids relax densities.
In other words, in Xu Xiaoguo’s recent work, what was originally a rather neutral structural exploration was waiting to be encouraged and filled in by many years of experience. We can divide Xu Xiaoguo’s paintings into three stages. From his initial spatial magic, tangled lines, and divided proportions, he attempted to approach a certain overlapping feeling of space in reality. Later, space became the pattern of space, something increasingly two-dimensional. Real existence was removed, and various positive and negative things grew and meshed together, and intense research laid the foundation for the changes to come. Most recently, every detail in his work has been overwhelmed with full emotion and subtle wit. Painting and spirit once again find new life—brushstrokes create shapes and colors activate rationality, controlled by a positive force.
Where are they going? At the end of the exhibition, three blue works occupy the entire space, and they try to extend our vision from the paintings, from the forest, from those places. They may just be details along the way, extending our vision toward the sky, toward the source of the light.
Therefore, the closer we get, the further away the past becomes.
“山水”现场，卢塞恩美术馆，卢塞恩，瑞士，"Shanshui-Poetry without Sound, Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art-Works", Lu Saien art museum , Lu Saien, Switzerland, 2011“可见或不可见的形状”现场，关渡美术馆，台北，"VISIBLE OR INVISIBLE FORMS", Kuandu Museum of fine Arts, Taipei, 2018
Xu Xiaoguo was bom in xi'an, Shanxi Province in 1977. He majored in Oil painting and graduated from the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts in 2000. Currently based in Beijing. Xu's works take various artistic forms such as painting, pictorials and video. His works cover a wide range of artistic forms such as paintings, photos, images and installations. His works exhibited in many important institutions includes: The Lucerne Museum of Art, Switzerland; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia; White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney; BWA Art Gallery, Poland; UCCA, Beijing; Today Art museum, Beijing; Museum of CAFA, Beijing; Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei; Macao Museum of Art, Macao; OACT by Xi'an; Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai; Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing; Iberia Center, Beijing; White box , Beijing; Osage Gallery, Hong Kong.
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