ZHANG WEI


ZHANG WEI

Zhang Wei (b. 1952) is regarded as one of the first abstract painters in China. Beginning his career in the 1970s as part of the unofficial artist collective Wuming, Zhang followed the groups intent to express an individual artistic approach apart from the established art forms at that time. Encounters with western Abstract Expressionism and its protagonists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg in the early 80’s, offered Zhang a different view on his own artistic practice and encouraged his aim for personal freedom of expression by dedicating himself to a non-representational form. His paintings pick up particularly the immediate and intuitive approaches of action painting. Nevertheless, alongside references to western modern painting, Zhang’s works also allude to traditional Chinese ink and calligraphy techniques. Similarly, his practice reminds of the Asian tradition of “Qi”, that describes painting as a process of releasing energy when ink and paper touch through the brush.

Zhang Wei has a dramatic visual language and has a strikingly self-possessed personality, the optical impact of his canvases register instantaneously. Through boldly applied paint and bright colors, the movement of the artist’s brush is visible on canvas, it brings the viewer bodily awareness – the conditions and processes by which Zhang Wei’s applied paint becomes essential to our appreciation of his works. […] He describes his style as wu xing – spontaneous, enlightened mode of creativity. Action Painting falls under the same descriptive vocabulary. But how does Zhang Wei know when a painting is complete? He tells me that his fear is of painting a canvas to death. He strives instead for a more flexible sense of incompleteness, and in this sense, negative space in the form of the picture surface is integral to his compositions.

L. Ambrozy, ‘Zhang Wei and Abstraction, in Zhang Wei. The Abstract Paintings, Boers-Li Gallery, 2013

Image: Z-AC1638, 
2016, oil on linen, 220 x 180 cm.; 86 5/8 x 70 7/8 in. Photo: Yang Chao Photography Studio, Beijing, China

Biography


VITA

1952

Born in Beijing, China


Lives and works in Beijing, China

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

M+Sigg Collection, Hong Kong

The Art Institute of Chicago

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022

Colors of Emotions
Galerie Krizinger, Vienna


2021

Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris


2019

Stiftung zur Förderung zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen, Eifel

Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna


2018

Artist Book
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin


2016



Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

New Paintings 2014–2016
Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing



Taxi Driver

The Space of DRC No.12

, Beijing


2012


Abstract Paintings 1979–2012

Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing




2010

2010 Zhang Wei: My life in Beijing-1970s, My life in New York-1990s
Shuimu Contemporary Art Space, Beijing


2007

Serendipity
Courtyard Gallery, Beijing


2006

Zhang Wei 1985–1991
TRA Gallery, Beijing
 

1998

Parish Hadley Gallery, New York


1990

Z Gallery, New York


1987

Carolyn Hill Gallery, New York

Sabrina Fung Gallery, New York


1986

Zhang Wei's Paintings
Wai Jiao Gong Yu, Beijing
 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2022

Gruppendynamik: Kollektive der Moderne
Lenbachhaus, Munich


2021

Focus China. Works from Collection Wemhöner
Mönchehaus Museum Goslar


2020

Spring
Almine Rech, Shanghai


2018

Artists Books Editions. Publications by Yvon Lambert and Hans Werner Holzwarth
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin

Brush and Beyond
Boers-Li Gallery, New York


2017

Salon Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile – A Beijing Perspective
Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing

Uncharted Waters
Boers-Li Gallery, New York


2016

M+ Sigg Collection. Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art
ArtisTree, Hong Kong


2015

The Civil Power
Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing


2014

Secret Signs. Calligraphy in Chinese Contemporary Art
Deichtorhallen, Hamburg

Right is Wrong / Four Decades of Chinese Art from the M+ Sigg Collection
Bildmuseet Umeå University, Umeå

Cases of Chinese Abstract Art - the third series
YQK Deshan Art Space, Beijing

The Un-officials | Art before 85
Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing

New Works #1-From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism
Shenzhen OCT Contemporary Art Terminal


2013

Light before Dawn: Unofficial Chinese Art 1974-1985
Asia Society Hong Kong Center


2011

Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art, 1974-1985
China Institute Gallery, New York

Breaking Away – an Abstract Art Exhibition
Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing


2010

Spring Equinox
Yuan Art Museum, Beijing

Array with No Object
Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan


2008

Crossroads
Opera Gallery Singapore, Singapore

Chinese Fantasies
Found Museum, Beijing

The Love of Art - Collecting-Contemporary Art in China
Today Art Museum, Beijing

Apartment Art in China 1970s–1990s
Shuimu Art Space, Beijing

Art and China's Revolution
Asia Society Museum, New York

Towards the Post-abstract
PIFO New Art Studios, Beijing

Cross-Reference
Shuimu Art Space, Beijing

Moving On: Chinese Contemporary Art in London & St. Moritz
Riccardo Rossi, London

Yi School: Thirty Years of Chinese Abstraction
Today Art Museum, Beijing, travelled to;
Caixa Forum Barcelona


2007

No U-turn-Segments of Chinese avant-garde art
TRA Gallery, Beijing

Retrospective Exhibition of the NO Name Group
Guangdong Art Museum, Guandzhou, travelled to;
Zendai MoMA, Shanghai


2006

Retrospective Exhibition of the NO Name Group
TRA Art Gallery, Beijing


1998

Global Roots: Chinese Artists Working in New York
Stewart Center Gallery, Purdue University, West Lafayette


1987

Avant-Garde Chinese Art
Art Gallery of State University NY, Albany


1986

Avant-Garde Chinese Art
Art Gallery of Vassar College, Poughkeepsie


1985

Graffiti Exhibition of Ten Artists
Chaoyang Theater, Beijing


1983

Abstract Works
Tuanjie Hu, Beijing


1979

No Name Art Group Exhibition
Beihai Park, Beijing


1974

Underground Exhibition of Eleven Artists
Fusuijing Building, Beijing
 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Monographs

Boers-Li Gallery (Ed.): Zhang Wei New Paintings 2014–2016, Beijing, 2016

Boers-Li Gallery (Ed.): Zhang Wei The Abstract Paintings, Beijing, 2013

Shuimu Art Space (Ed.): Zhang Wei: My Life in New York 1990s, My Life in Beijing 1970s, Beijing, 2010


Publications of the Artist

Zhang Wei, Artist Book, Berlin, 2017 (H2P I Hetzler Holzwarth Publications)


Others

The Art Institute of Chicago (Ed.): Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago: Highlights of the Collection, Chicago, 2017

Publications


Zhang Wei

Boers-Li Gallery Beijing | New York / Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris | London / Holzwarth Publications, Berlin 2019
With texts by He Guiyan, Hans Werner Holzwarth and a conversation between Zhang Wei and Colin Siyuan Chinnery

Out of stock

Zhang Wei: Artist Book

H2P I Hetzler Holzwarth Publications, Berlin 2017
Edition of 40 copies, plus 10 H.C., each with a cover hand-painted by the artist
Copies nos. 1–10 additionally with a painted shovel blade, copies nos. 11–20 with a painted trowel

Zhang Wei

Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin | Paris / Holzwarth Publications, Berlin 2017
With texts by Colin Chinnery and Waling Boers

€ 45.00 € 36.00

Selected Press


Trierischer Volksfreund July 2019

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Trierischer Volksfreund July 2019

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