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Pace London
2016.03.18 Fri - 2016.04.16 Sat
Opening Exhibition
6-10 Lexington Street London, W1F 0LB, UK
+44 (0)20 7437 1050
Opening Hours
Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM
Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst

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Pace London
[Press Release]

18 March – 16 April 2016
6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3ET

Private view: Thursday 17 March 2016, 6–8 pm

London—Pace London is pleased to announce Yellow, the first solo exhibition of work by Wang Guangle in Europe. The exhibition will be on view on the ground floor gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens from 18 March to 16 April 2016.

One of the preeminent abstract painters of his generation in Beijing, Wang’s work is rooted in questions of painting’s temporality and the canvas as a vessel of labour and marker of time. The exhibition at Pace London will include a selection of recent paintings by the artist that evince the spirit and style of his work from the past decade. The exhibition also accounts for an unprecedented use of yellow in Wang’s work. Although he has no prescribed meaning for the colour, he embraces its various associations, from timidity and carefulness to a more Chinese connotation of the erotic.

Wang’s Terrazzo works take their subject from the eponymous style of flooring tile, which was installed in one of his first studios. Wang spends months on the works, attending to every millimetre with equal care and repeating lines, colours and textures with subtle variations. These paintings complicate the notions of abstraction, drawing on real materials, spaces and textures for their source.

In his Coffin paintings, thin strips of acrylic paint line the canvas, wrapping around the frontal surface and leaving the trace of drips. Wang typically begins by painting the entirety of the canvas. Subsequent layers of paint—added over periods of several weeks—decrease in size, leading to the striped effect that characterizes the works as well as thick agglomerations of paint that evoke the material’s physicality. This additive layering process finds its origins in Wang’s home province, Fujian, where elder men annually add a fresh layer of lacquer to their coffins in anticipation of their death. Wang stresses this temporal element in this body of work by including the date of the work’s completion in its title.

The Untitled paintings mirror this process of scaling and accumulation in the Coffin works while placing a greater emphasis on geometry. Wang paints rectangular fields, each layer progressing farther from the edge and closer to the centre, creating a subtle gradation of colour and the effect of an illuminated rectangle or void. Like in the Terrazzo works, the question of abstraction arises; for Wang, abstraction is less a means of nonfiguration and more of record that most abstract of phenomena: time.


Wang Guangle (b. 1976, Songxi, Fujian, China) trained at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, where he graduated in 2000 and was awarded the Director’s Prize in his final year of school. He is a member of N12, a group of twelve Central Academy of Fine Arts graduates that began staging exhibitions together in 2003. In 2014, Hatje Cantz published the first major monograph on the artist, featuring essays by Bao Dong, Thomas Berghuis and Philip Tinari.

Wang’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions including China’s Revision: Focus Beijing, Museum Ludwig, Koblenz (2008); Prague Biennale 4 (2009); Busan Biennial (2010); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists’ Concept & Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2012); Spin: The First Decade of the New Century, Today Art Museum, Beijing (2012); 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; and 28 Chinese, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2015). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum, Beijing; Long Museum, Shanghai; M+ Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Sammlung Goetz Collection, Munich; and Ullens Foundation, Geneva.

Wang Guangle lives and works in Beijing. This is his third exhibition at Pace.

Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 800 exhibitions, including scholarly ones that have subsequently travelled to museums, and published nearly 450 catalogues. Today Pace has ten locations worldwide: four in New York; two in London; one in Beijing, one in Hong Kong, an office in Paris and a new gallery in Menlo Park, California. Pace London inaugurated its flagship gallery at 6 Burlington Gardens in 2012.