Thursday, June 23, 2011

Li Songsong, Pig Years at Pace Gallery, New York

LI SONGSONG, Pig Years, 2010, oil on aluminum panel, 380 × 520 cm. Courtesy the Pace Gallery, New York.

My friend Lisa was just at the Pace Gallery in New York City, where there is an exhibit of the recent work of Beijing-born artist Li Songsong. This painting, Pig Years, is perhaps best described in Irina Makarova's review (here) of the show for ArtAsiaPacific. She writes:
Pig Years (2010), at 12 feet in height, is a gargantuan, multi-hued painting made of four separate panels—with each panel consisting of overlapping layers of smaller panels—attached together by aluminum plates. The panels, with their overlapping layout and sea of clashing colors (varying shades of gray, yellow and blue), appear as though they would not come together as one image. But upon stepping back from the painting, the content emerges: a massive pile of pigs that are heaped together like a mountain of rocks.

Li manages to capture the feeling of trying to recall a memory, which, with the passing of time, is reconfigured or blurred, and becomes an amalgamation of associated senses, patches of other memories and shadows of the original. Just as our perception of people, places and ideas are based on sensory experiences, which are overlaid and bound together to form memories, so are Li’s paintings, in which multiple panels, grids, layers and colors come together as one integrated image.

If you happen to be able to make it to New York City, it sure sounds like this is worth seeing in person, as this reproduction can't possibly convey a sense of the size and detail of Li's work.



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