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Installation view of Tu Hongtao Twisting and Turning exhibition at Lévy Gorvy London
Installation view, "Tu Hongtao: Twisting and Turning," Lévy Gorvy London, 2020. © Tu Hongtao. Photo: Stephen White & Co

Tu Hongtao

Twisting and Turning

Lévy Gorvy London
October 2 – November 24 2020

Lévy Gorvy is pleased to announce its first European exhibition with acclaimed Chinese artist Tu Hongtao (b. 1976). Following the gallery’s career survey of Tu’s paintings in Hong Kong in early 2020, this exhibition will debut new works never before exhibited. On view at both 22 Old Bond Street and 40 Albemarle Street, Tu Hongtao: Twisting and Turning features expansive paintings that occupy an expressive realm between landscape and abstraction, reflecting the atmosphere and influence of the rural area near where the artist resides. Tu synthesizes Chinese aesthetic traditions with postwar abstraction to create painterly effects that are vividly realized and profoundly original.

The exhibition’s title Twisting and Turning is inspired by the Chinese idiom Yibosanzhe—“a twist and three turns”—a phrase that originates from Jin Dynasty master calligrapher Wang Xizhi (303–361 CE). Originally referring to the elegant flourishes of Chinese calligraphy, the phrase now describes unpredictable, abruptly changing states of affairs, while also implying that good things never come easy. As Tu explains: “I understand these words as espousing a certain aesthetic sensibility, namely, that painting ought not to be too neat and orderly, nor artistic production too decorative; both, rather, should involve a kind of friction, as with a blade against a grindstone.” In the face of the uncertainty and global predicaments of the present, he has broken through with new forms of painterly expression in this new body of works.

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