de Sarthe is delighted to announce its participation in the 2019 edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, which will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27 to 31 March 2019.
de Sarthe has participated at Art Basel Hong Kong since its inception and for the 7th edition in 2019 will present an engaging selection of Western and Asian art that reflects the 40 year history of the gallery in Europe and Asia.
One of the longest standing international galleries in Hong Kong, de Sarthe’s booth at Art Basel Hong Kong explores the implications of creative exchange between Western and Eastern visual languages, exhibiting artists that redefined the avant-garde through aesthetic innovation that pushed and re-evaluated creative boundaries. The booth also offers insights into the gallery’s history and its support of innovative and experimental artists who are historically significant.
Charting the gallery’s development in Hong Kong, the booth includes de Sarthe’s first generation of Modern and Post-War Masters: the contrasting colors and lyrical abstraction of French-Chinese painters Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, alongside prolific and stylistically varied paintings by Gerhard Richter, and works by celebrated conceptual artist Bernar Venet.
The exhibition also reflects the gallery’s recent progression and its support of the new wave of emerging Chinese artists such as Lin Jingjing, Andrew Luk, and Ma Sibo.
A master of postwar art and the highest-selling Chinese painter of his generation, Zao Wou-Ki applied Modernist art-making techniques to traditional Chinese literati painting. Zao moved to Paris in 1948, inspired by Paul Klee’s draftsmanship and the dreamlike aesthetic of surrealism. By 1954, Zao had developed a unique language that was marked by contrasting colors, fluidity of form and lyrical abstraction alluding to traditional Chinese landscapes through the lens of European abstraction. Like traditional Chinese landscape painting, Zao’s paintings function as fragments of a larger scene, possessing transparency, and a graceful luminosity representative of the artist’s interior energies.
A mid-century émigré to France, Chu Teh-Chun left an important mark on abstract painting and Chinese art with his synthesis of the two traditions. A student of Lin Fengmian, Chu studied traditional Chinese painting but was also exposed to Western art early in his life. After settling in Paris in the 1950s, he abandoned figuration, employing a gestural, abstract style that exhibits elements of Chinese calligraphy and landscape painting. Although his work demonstrates the stylistic freedom of mid-century movements such as art informel and abstract expressionism, Chu always retained the rigorous technical brushwork he learned as a student in mainland China.
Gerhard Richter is renowned for his non-traditional and experimental exploration of the medium of painting, often incorporating and exploring the visual effects of photography. “I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings,” he says. “Because style is violent, and I am not violent.” In the early 1960s, Richter began to create large-scale photorealist copies of black-and-white photographs rendered in a range of grays, and innovated a blurred effect (sometimes deemed “photographic impressionism”) in which portions of his compositions appear smeared or softened— paradoxically reproducing photographic effects and revealing his painterly hand. With heavily textured abstract gray monochromes, Richter introduced abstraction into his practice, and he has continued to move freely between figuration and abstraction, producing geometric “Colour Charts”, bold, gestural abstractions, and “Photo Paintings” of anything from nudes, flowers, and cars to landscapes, architecture, and scenes from Nazi history. Richter absorbed a range of influences, from Caspar David Friedrich and Roy Lichtenstein to Art Informel and Fluxus.
Bernar Venet is a Conceptual artist best known for his sculptures and installations, but who nonetheless maintains a varied practice across multiple mediums, including painting, drawing, poetry, stage design and musical composition. Venet became well known in the 1960s for his amorphous installations made by piling up loose gravel, coal, or asphalt; and “industrial paintings” from cardboard reliefs or tar. Inspired mathematics as well asthe work of his friends in New York, Minimalist sculptors like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Carl Andre, Venet began to produce wall-mounted and freestanding metal sculptures. Among the best known are his torch-cut steel plates and beams resembling scribbles, lines, and arcs. Venet says that his sculptures are about “how metal resists. They are a test of strength—a battle between myself and the piece of metal.”
Lin Jingjing’s installations, performances, video and mixed media explore social and personal identity in the context of contemporary society. Her themes of confusion and quest, existence and absence, constraint and resistance are confronted through paradox. She is particularly interested in how individuals define themselves in relation to the outside world, considering the effects of vis-à-vis culture, politics, history and economy. Lin is known for the thread layering process that she applies to her paintings and installations. The surreal effect created through this method creates an immersive experience which takes the viewers into another realm.
Andrew Luk is a multimedia artist whose practice illustrates the ever-changing representation and perception of violence. Inspired by post-structuralism and Paul Virilio’s practice, Luk investigates how civilization regards itself in relation to nature. He examines civilization while studying the natural forces of entropy, anti-entropy, and preservation. Luk exemplifies these ideas through the Horizon Scan series, in which he uses homemade napalm—an incendiary agent that has been banned by the United Nations for wartime use—to torch and clear materials such as canvas, wood, and copper. The burned remains are then carefully collaged together, submerged in resin, and painstakingly polished for days. The final result shows the work lit from within, and illuminates an unfamiliar landscape that exists outside of the wall it rests upon. The layers seem to shift and slide depending on the passing of time and light. The way that the mutable patterns reveal their nuances and subtleties correlates with Luk’s perception of time.
Tianjin born Ma Sibo and received his B.F.A. at the Oil Painting Department at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. Sibo’s haunting images create translucent illusionary spaces that amalgamate the real with the imagined. His striking use of light, bold colours and semi-opaque forms distorts the viewer’s perception of time, space and reality, imbuing them instead with distant memories and stored emotions. His most recent works describe familiar public places like bus stops, stairs and carousels which appear to be floating, surrounded by a lingering tension and anticipation. Seemingly dreary scenes drive us into a world of inbetweens.