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Installation view of the exhibition Eternal Seasons at LGDR Hong Kong 2022
Installation view, "Eternal Seasons," LGDR Hong Kong 2022. Photo: Kitmin Lee

Eternal Seasons

Hong Kong
February 28 – April 30 2022

LGDR Asia inaugurates its program with the next iteration of the exhibition series Eternal Seasons. Opening in Hong Kong on February 28, 2022, Eternal Seasons presents masterful depictions of the natural world and the cosmos through its curated mix of  Western and Asian works from the 20th and 21st centuries. Eternal Seasons showcases the contributions of canonical figures such as Françoise Gilot and Yayoi Kusama while spotlighting the achievements of Chinese painters such as Ding Yi, Liang Ying, Ni Youyu, and  Tang Yongxiang. Drawing on the prior gallery programs of LGDR’s founding partners, Eternal  Seasons will also feature works by Huma Bhabha, Marilyn Minter, Elizabeth Neel, Betty  Woodman, and Zhang Zipiao.

On view through April 30, 2022, Eternal Seasons explores how such visionaries have engaged with our worldly surroundings—offering visitors a compelling and comprehensive journey across postwar and contemporary art.  

Painted in 2014, INFINITY-COSMOS (NBCF) is a mesmeric example from Yayoi Kusama’s most iconic body of work, Infinity Nets, which the artist initiated in 1958. With radiant color juxtapositions, INFINITY-COSMOS (NBCF) conjures a dynamic three-dimensional realm. Kusama made the painting at the age of 85, demonstrating her persistent creative energy well into her golden years. Viewers immerse themselves in this tranquil representation of space wherein luminous dots proliferate across the canvas. Commenting on her cosmological  interests, Kusama explained: “My desire was to predict and measure the infinity of the  unbounded universe, from my own position in it, with dots.”

Ding Yi likewise fixates on a certain mark in evoking the infinitude of outer space. Since the  1980s, Ding has worked primarily with the cross motif that is found in his 2021 painting entitled Appearance of Crosses 2021-25. On view in Eternal Seasons, this electrifying work belongs to the artist’s Appearance of Crosses series, which he began in 1988 while contemplating the current relevance of abstraction. Reimagining the methods and materials traditionally identified with abstract art, Ding created Appearance of Crosses 2021-25 by applying layers of pigment to the basswood board, realizing subtle textures and rich hues. While  Ding in his earlier output used the cross to represent structure and reason, the artist in more recent work harnesses this symbol in pursuing a universal form of expression that transcends geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries. In so doing, he gestures to how humankind at large shares a galactic position. His vivid marks scatter across the surface of Appearance of  Crosses 2021-25 like shooting stars, traveling beyond the pictorial plane in perpetuity.  

Featuring brilliant colorists from both the 20th and 21st centuries, Eternal Seasons includes a  surreal and sensational painting by pioneering Pop artist James Rosenquist. Rosenquist developed his method of appropriating visuals from American advertising and mass media alongside contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Embracing billboard sign-painting techniques and commercial graphics, Rosenquist reconceived popular imagery and portrayed everyday objects in a manner that redefined the painting canon. Untitled (1990) depicts familiar flowers overlaid with sinuous lines that reveal the lips and eyes of a  mysterious female figure beneath the surface. Indeed, Rosenquist often played with the conflation of women and flowers in American visual culture, producing this work as well as Flowers, Fish and Females for the Four Seasons (1984) found in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Also from the annals of art history, French artist Françoise Gilot was among the youngest and most sought-after painters associated with the postwar School of Paris. While widely known as the former muse and lover of Pablo Picasso, Gilot forged her own aesthetic path.  

Honing a distinctive style over the course of her seven-decade career, the artist probed the productive tension between abstraction and figuration. Mountain Range from 1991 exemplifies how Gilot rendered natural topographies with pared-down shapes and highly saturated colors.  

In a similar vein, Zhang Zipiao’s luscious painting Rosebud 01 from 2021 conveys the essence of a flower with organic curves of warm color. Responding in part to social media and contemporary globalization, the artist ruminates on the politics of representation—often confronting cultural evocations of the female form. In Rosebud 01, Zhang renders rose petals with black outlines and pink hues so that they almost resemble human flesh. Delicate yet violent, beautiful yet brutal, Rosebud 01 expresses Zhang’s understanding of the painting medium as an extension of the body and as a vehicle for corporeal concerns.  

Other highlights of Eternal Seasons are Winter Flowers XX (2016–21), a composition from  Francesco Clemente’s acclaimed Winter Flowers series that ponders the exquisite ephemerality of flowers as analogues for universal experiences; Pathfinder (2021), a sculpture by Huma Bhabha consisting of recycled elements that calls attention to climate change;  Two-Faced (2021–22), a work by Marilyn Minter that interrogates sexuality, beauty, and desire in contemporary image culture; and Artist’s Bedroom I, II, and III (2021), paintings by Ni  Youyu that pay homage to Vincent van Gogh while meditating on the circle of life, which will later be part of the artist’s upcoming solo museum exhibition in mainland China. 

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