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1 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002
212 414 1169
Chambers Fine Art is a gallery specializing in contemporary Chinese art located in New York and Beijing. It was established by Christophe W. Mao in New York in 2000. Recognizing the need for a gallery that would serve as an authoritative source of information on the latest developments in the rapidly growing contemporary art world in China, Mao named his gallery after Sir William Chambers, the celebrated British architect who was a leading exponent of Chinese principles in garden design in the late eighteenth century. During the first seven years, artists including Lu Shengzhong, Hong Hao, Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen had their first solo exhibitions in the USA. Since then a younger generation of artists including Wu Jian’an, Zhao Zhao, Fu Xiaotong, and Guo Hongwei has added different perspectives to the gallery profile. Since 2009 the gallery has occupied premises at 522 West 19th Street, a block that is noteworthy for a concentration of new buildings by Frank Gehry, Shigeru Ban and Jean Nouvel as well as proximity to the High Line, the former elevated railway track that has become a much admired public park. Now in its second decade, Chambers Fine Art has become one of the essential destinations for all those interested in the latest and best coming out of China.
Artists Represented:
Ai Weiwei 艾未未
Cai Jin 蔡锦
Cui Fei 崔斐
Feng Mengbo 冯梦波
Fu Xiaotong 付小桐
GAMA
Guo Hongwei 郭鸿蔚
Hong Hao 洪浩
Hong Lei 洪磊
Lu Shengzhong 吕胜中
Qiu Zhijie 邱志杰
Rong Rong 荣荣
Shi Jing 史晶
Shi Jinsong 史金淞
Song Dong 宋冬
Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen 尹秀珍和宋冬
Song Hongquan 宋红权
Tan Dun 谭盾
Taca Sui 塔可
Wang Dongling 王冬龄
Wang Tiande 王天德
Wu Jian'an 邬建安
Xie Xiaoze 谢晓泽
Yan Shanchun 严善錞
Yang Jiechang 杨诘苍
Ye Nan 叶楠
Yin Xiuzhen 尹秀珍
Zhan Wang 展望
Zhang Dun 张盾
Zhao Zhao 赵赵

 

 
Installation view courtesy Chambers Fine Art.


 
Current Exhibition

Guo Hongwei

Guo Hongwei: Pareidolia

1 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

March 3, 2020 - April 4, 2020
Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on March 3, 2020 of Guo Hongwei: Pareidolia. Guo Hongwei (born 1982) graduated from the Oil painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2004, and currently lives and works in Beijing. Since his first exhibition at Chambers Fine Art, Things, in 2009, Guo has worked in a wide range of media including oil painting, collage, and video, but unusually for an artist of his generation, he has always had a particular affinity with water-color. He first gained wide recognition for his large-scale watercolors depicting objects from the natural world depicted with scrupulous fidelity in the exhibitions Painting is Collecting I, II, III at Chambers Fine Art in 2012. Painting is Collecting is an ongoing exploration of humankind’s curiosity concerning the world in which they live and the classification and understanding of the relationships between the infinite variety of animals, insects, plants and minerals. Not only has Guo Hongwei visited natural history museums and botanical gardens with their ancient herbaria, he has also read widely in historical literature and developed a keen appreciation of the artistry of botanical illustrators of previous centuries. From this vast amount of material, Guo selects certain images that appeal to him as a result of their cultural patina, often creating arrangements of his own that show his interest in tracking relationships between closely related forms. Whether representing insects, minerals, leaves or other botanical specimens, he showed a preference for linear arrangements although as he commented himself at the time, his intention had little or nothing to do with the scientific accuracy of traditional botanical illustration. For the re-emergence of his investigation of watercolor after several years in which he concentrated on oil painting, Guo has gathered the individual works under the general heading of Pareidolia, a technical term that refers to the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern, for example seeing shapes in clouds, and seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns. A widely known example of this phenomenon is the Rorschach inkblot test. This tendency is often manifested in the composition of Guo Hongwei’s watercolors, as he intuitively arranges his subjects into rows and patterns. His fascination with natural objects including plants, animals and minerals has led him to examine his subjects from an ever expanding number of approaches, differentiating subtle differences between species of insects, documenting changes in the appearance of color in minerals, to researching the healing properties of plants, all of which he captures in his richly rendered watercolors on paper. In one group of works Remedies for Sorrow Nos. 1, 3, and 4 (Remedy for Depression, Cough Remedy, Spirit Healing respectively), he arranges the ingredients for traditional Chinese medicine in fanciful arrangements that solicit multiple interpretations. Guo’s research also leads him into unexpected areas. For example, in Fig.1 of Affine Transformation, he employs a mathematical approach in his depiction of small seeds seen from various perspectives. In mathematics the word “affine” may be defined as allowing for or preserving parallel relationships. In Guo’s watercolor, the painted sunflower seeds are all geometrically related to one another, although their appearance changes throughout the artwork. The seeds are slowly transformed as they move across the painting’s composition through a combination of reflection, rotation, scaling, and translation, a visual representation of the artist turning the object over and over in his hands. Although there are numerous exceptions, traditionally watercolor has been reserved for informal studies and small-scale works. Guo Hongwei appreciates the fluidity and transparency of the medium but is prepared to place a greater burden on it, exaggerating its qualities in order to transform the physical characteristics of the objects he chooses to paint. In Cosmic Candies No.1, 2 and 3, the artist’s extraordinarily inventive handling of the watercolor medium is on full display; rows of stones and minerals are freely arranged, the minute differences between them beautifully replicated by the subtle adjustments of color and density of pigment. In 2013, Guo Hongwei was included in the landmark group exhibition ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice at UCCA, Beijing. His works have also been shown at Shanghai Zendai MoMA (2007 and 2006), Today Art Museum, Beijing (2007), the Shanghai Biennale (2012), CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, (2012), Orange County Museum of Art (2015), Tokyo Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions (2016), and the Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial (2019). His works are in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions including Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).