Cui Guotai, 'Nuke', 2006, oil on canvas, 180 x 290 cm
CUI GUOTAI: DECONSTRUCTION (?)
February 9th 2007, 7 - 9 pm
February 10th 2007 - March 17th 2007
ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING
Tues - Fri 10 am - 1 pm, 2 pm - 6 pm
Sat 11 am - 6 pm
Deconstruction. The title of the upcoming exhibition with works by Chinese artist Cui Guotai in the Gallery of Alexander Ochs in Berlin was chosen quite deliberately. Deconstruction - this seems to be a central motif in the work of Guotai: thematically, but also formally.
Cui Guotai became noted first and foremost by his impressive architectural-studies reflecting the downfall of Chinese steel-industry, closely depicted in his large-sized, painted portrayals of constructional decay. In fact, a quite literal and almost old-fashioned notion of 'painting' seems particularly suitable to describe Guotai's work: He performs his craft with pure virtuosity.
In his new works, partly inspired by his many travels - especially to Europe ('Eiffel Tower in the Rain', 2006) - Cui Guotai consistently enhances his individual picture language. And yet he succeeds in surprising the audience. In fact, something seems to have been set in motion in Guotai's paintings. The artist not only documents states of expiration, but in his own way brings the evidences of past mechanical improvement back to life. He creates paintings fraught with vibrant movement, carrying the spectator away - and finally pulling him into a swirl of material decomposition.
Moreover, the artist succeeds in evoking insightful historical references. The advancement of the artist's birthplace Shenyang as undisputed motor of China's steel-industry for example initiated during the time of Japanese occupation, and was then pushed ahead significantly by long lasting support through the Soviet Union. Quite ironically, however, the actual foundation of all this was a loot of the very special kind: war machinery from Fascist-Germany, weapons and equipment from the Second World War. Thus, the particular fascination but also the quite peculiar connotations that are evoked by Guotai's very specific aesthetical realisation of a submarine-motif ('Nuke', 2006), seem to be everything but accidental…
For further information please do not hesitate to contact Anke Mueller. Tel. +49 (30) 28391387