Review by Sophia Kidd
Limit (限度), a group show, opened last Saturday at Re-C Art Space. Represented artists include Cheng Xiang, Deng Xianzhi, Liu Shi, Wang Shengqiang, Xu Li, and Yang Chunsheng.
Wang Shengqiang's oils—a pair of mid-sized pieces, S's Price (S的代价) and Position (立场), and two giant canvases, Companions (伴侣) and Moving Through Worlds (跨界)—employ a dark blue palette, shot through with thin or thick whites, and all feature cracked-up cars or trucks. Crashed cars are merely metaphors, though, for sad people, brave people, and old friends. Position is the tender portrayal of a broken soul. "It's like when you go up to a person," says Wang, "and they're all messed up inside."
The figure in Position is completely disfigured; one can barely make out the car frame, turned over on its side. Position is not a figurative piece, but a shocking display of gesture and color. Thick moods of white, mixed with luminescent hints of blue and purple in Position demarcate a reticent, otherwise flat, background.
Liu Shi deals tangibly with the show's concept by passing through walls and bridging dimensions. Liu Shi, as always, is cool, heavily referencing 1980s New York neoimpressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. But Liu also has his own visual cues, with fresh cultural false-isms written into his spaces. His life-sized fiberglass figure is chained to one of the gallery's structural columns. By doing this, Liu brings the art into dialogue with the spatial limits of the very space of installation. But he doesn't stop here. Part of the figure's body (a penis in the shape of a banana) protrudes from the other side of the column, illustrating how Liu Shi deals with limits.
Limit runs through August 1 at Re-C Art Space.
Images courtesy Re-C Art Space.