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"Day for Night" 2012
florescent lights, plastic ties, acrylic board and blue filter paper
Galerie Urs Meile is pleased to announce the opening of “In The Midnight City”, the first solo exhibition by Brendan Earley (*1971 in Dublin, Ireland, where the artist currently lives and works) at Galerie Urs Meile, on March 2, 2013. Brendan Earley participated in our artist-in-residence program at Galerie Urs Meile Beijing from August to November 2012 and the works exhibited in this exhibition include drawings, installations and sculptures created by the artist in Beijing during that period.
Earley’s new works present his reflections concerning the subject of the city—according to Earley, the character of a city is not only defined by its cultural landscape, which is shaped by historical and geographical factors, but also by the material characteristics of its architecture and planning, and furthermore by the interactions that take place between the city and its occupants.
The new series of drawings demonstrates a unique form of artistic depiction. With his repetitive use of short, sharp strokes in felt tipped pen, the artist has reduced the graphic and narrative nature of the works to an absolute minimum, laying bare their pure form. This process of indefatigable repetition describing the essence of the drawing’s own making, is a metaphor for the eternal construction of the city.
The concept of light is often present in Earley’s works—he has integrated fluorescent light, color filter paper, natural light and translucent acrylic panels to produce a pure and simple aesthetic that possesses architectural characteristics, one in which we can see the profound influence of minimalist aesthetics and architectural language. In Shine a Light (2012, florescent lights, plastic ties, stainless steel and yellow filter paper, 110 x 44 x 22 cm) fluorescent lights installed inside the piece shine through acrylic panels covered with yellow filter paper to cast c. As China’s cities undergo dramatic transformation, the construction of new buildings is accompanied by the dismantling and destruction of the old. Earley has successfully balanced the relationship between both kinds of urban space in his work.
Earley’s reflections concerning the materiality of urban construction during his residency in Beijing are expressed in the sculpture Untitled (Janus Head) (2012, steel, plastic ties and plywood, 43 x 22 x 20 cm） in which the artist has used hard steel to articulate the unconstrained nature of Styrofoam. Although steel is a core construction material, it functions as filler in the urban landscape. Such a conceptualized transformation of materials is not only a continuation of Earley’s former work, but furthermore a step forward in development and experimentation. As Earley himself notes: “These new drawings and sculptures continue to develop my interest in the materiality of the object and images combined with a more conceptualized concern with the legacies of past eras of cultural history and the contextualization of artifacts within the pragmatic approach to design through construction.” Through his sculptures and drawings, which are concise in form and profoundly expressive, he hopes to create an alternative view of order, one which attempts to reconcile one’s position in everyday life.
We will also publish a leaflet in conjunction with the exhibition.
stones and glue
Galerie Urs Meile is pleased to announce the opening of "Lateral Edge", the latest solo exhibition by artist Li Gang (*1986 in Dali, Yunnan Province, China; currently living and working in Beijing, China) at our Beijing gallery on March 2, 2013. This will mark the third exhibition for Li Gang at Galerie Urs Meile, following two previous solo shows: "A Tranquil Order" at Galerie Urs Meile in Lucerne and "Between" at Galerie Urs Meile in Beijing in 2011. "Lateral Edge" will show the artist’s most recent works created during the last year.
The title of the exhibition comes from a geometric concept: a lateral edge is the intersecting line between two adjacent sides. This is a metaphor for Li Gang’s creative process; he is expert at manufacturing the connections between different things, just as lateral edges generally exist between two different planes. His creative materials are readily available—in this exhibition his new works are made from materials such as trees, pebbles, canvas frames, and thick, hand-weaved canvases—but in most cases, his creative process loses or diminishes the original appearance or significance of these materials.
Beads (2012, wooden spheres, shaped from the connecting points of a dead tree of Yunnan Province, 397 pcs., ø 0.5 – ø 51 cm), one of the principal pieces in the exhibition, presents nearly four hundred pieces of wooden spheres, all shaped from the connection-points of a dead tree in Yunnan Province. As a tree grows, it continually produces new branches, and each new branch or twig that emerges leaves behind a “connection-point”; the hundreds of connections that are formed vary in size according to the thickness of the limbs. A tree growing straight upward is a metaphor of a human life: from birth, with the family as our foundation, we start to develop more and more connections with other people, just as the tree produces so many branches; however, if we gather together all of the connections from the tree, like the wooden beads created in this piece, we may find a new perspective and way of looking at life.
The work Ridge (2012, stones and glue, 70 pieces, different sizes between 24 x 6 x 4.5 and 81 x 24 x 15 cm installation size: 430 x 520 cm) comes from a variety of pebbles collected by Li Gang. The natural process of erosion left the pebbles with different “ridges” projecting from their surfaces. Li Gang found points of connection between two of the pebbles and carefully joined them together with adhesive, extending and connecting their ridges to transform the two pebbles into one form. According to Li Gang, what appear to be independent objects have hidden connections; joining such independent objects together is a way of creating uncertainty between the objects.
Li Gang was born in Dali, Yunnan Province in 1986. After graduating first in his class from the Dali Academy in Dali, Yunnan, he moved to Beijing with the goal of becoming a professional artist and began a career which has been marked by his comprehensive artistic practice. Since then, Li Gang has experimented with various aesthetic possibilities through a wide range of media, from painting and photography to installation and sculpture, exploring enduring topics such as death and time.
We will also publish a catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition.
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing
D10, 798 East Street, 798 Art District
No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road Chaoyang District
100015 Beijing, China
Galerie Urs Meile Lucerne
6004 Lucerne, Switzerland