de Sarthe is pleased to announce Contemporary Show Off, a one-week-long showcase of new and existing monumental artwork from our roster of contemporary artists. Several of the paintings in the exhibition are the largest artworks our artists have ever produced. We asked seven of our artists to either create new work or choose one of their most impressive existing pieces. The exhibition is the result of this collective effort and embodies the communal spirit of our gallery, the quality of our artists, and the boundary pushing nature of our program.
For the online catalogue, please click here.
Information on the artworks and artists included in the sale can be found below:
Double Fly Klein Blue 3 (2015) and Double Fly Klein Blue 4 (2015) by artist group Double Fly Art Center are acrylic on canvas paintings that are both the remnants and result of an absurd and comedic performance in which the artists slid down an inflatable slide – nude and covered in blue paint. A pastiche of Yves Klein’s Anthropométries under the context of mathematician John Conway’s “Free will theorem”—which advocates the existence of free will beyond the influences of the past—the performance was an attempt to experience pure consciousness and achieve true arbitrariness within an isolated event.
Lin Jingjing’s mixed media artwork Before the Thunder Rolls (2019) is an archival pigment print on canvas, overlaid with hand-embroidered lines and shapes. Through playful juxtaposition between objects and reflections, substances and silhouettes, Lin’s quadriptych confuses its viewers and blurs the lines between what is real and what is not. Often employing romantic elements in her practice, her artwork references the famed lyrics of American country singer Garth Brooks’ song “The Thunder Rolls”, speaking to the state of illusive and rose-tinted perception prior to the moment of clarity.
Andrew Luk’s installation Infinite Horizon (2018) is a pinnacle artwork within his ongoing Horizon Scan series. In making this series, Luk uses homemade napalm to torch and char painted canvas, the burned remains of which are then carefully collaged together, occasionally receiving another coat of paint before being submerged in layers of resin. Strips of LEDs shift between warm and cool, lighting the work from within its frame and revealing nuances and subtleties in the unfamiliar topography of Luk’s imagined landscape. The geometric shapes and forms in Infinite Horizon represent the user interface of a remotely controlled predator drone aircraft that was formerly used by the United States military and the Central Intelligence Agency. The violent nature of the artwork’s subject and fabrication reflect the real-world landscapes that we inhabit, our view of which is often shaped by machines of war and stories of conflict.
Ma Sibo’s translucent yet luminous paintings play with light and its relationship with the space it envelopes. He often uses familiar objects in his work to anchor otherwise elusive imagery, yet, the fluid and misty quality of light creates a weightlessness that permeates the canvas. The environment in Out of Gravity (2020) is seemingly void and flooded by light at the same time. The work is an impeccable example of Ma Sibo's masterful command of light and space. Merging fact and fiction, the enigmatic narrative within his artwork recalls distant memories and storied emotions.
Mak Ying Tung 2’s Home Sweet Home: Long Rose Pool (2020) is a triptych on canvas, composed using the popular life simulation videogame “The Sims” and painted by three separate painters on the Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao. The monumental sized painting depicts a swimming pool sporadically filled with red roses. In the background, floor to ceiling windows look out into an open sky amid lesser buildings. Due to its free-form structure, “The Sims” is often used as a form of escapism. By granting players the absolute power to control and alter their surroundings, its simulated gameplay temporarily alleviates the limitations of real life. However, as the idyllic virtual imagery is materialized via paint and brush, the final outcome becomes unpredictable owing to the painters’ inconsistent skill levels, techniques, and use of materials. By enabling external factors to intervene in the process of actualization, Mak 2’s Home Sweet Home: Long Rose Pool elucidates the inevitable disillusionment in the pursuit of fantasy, caused by the sobering realization of how reality is construed and constructed.
Richard Streitmatter-Tran’s painted portrait belongs to his series Bless the Beasts and Children 2020 (2019-20), which comprises eight portraits of ethnically diverse protesters standing together in a field of silence. Inspired by the concurrent global socio-political crises, his work portrays the unification that arises from mutual struggle and the tenacious human spirit that is brought forward in the face of conflict. Thinking of his newborn child, Streitmatter-Tran’s artwork remains optimistic regarding the clouded path ahead.
The raging chaos found throughout Zhong Wei’s artworks is perfectly arrested in this iconic and exemplary large-scale painting, Cold Boot (2020). Drawing inspiration from a wide spectrum of subjects, such as Internet culture and traditional Buddhist art, Zhong Wei’s artworks speak to the vibrant and infinite folds of Internet-culture. Working with a massive database of memes and imagery found online, Zhong uses his computer to build digital sketches before translating his work to canvas. To Zhong Wei, this coupling of seemingly random imagery mirrors the hyperactive behavior of cyber culture, which generates the energy driving both society's exponential growth and the fragmentation of our consciousness in the post-information-explosion era.