The Lisson Gallery in London are preparing an exhibition of work by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who is still missing after being detained by authorities at Beijing airport on 3 April.
Above: Moon Chest, 2008. Huanghuali wood, 81 pieces, 320 x 160 x 80 cm. Image is copyright Mori Art Museum, courtesy of the artist
Planned with the artist before his disappearance, the exhibition will present key sculptures and video projects including his Moon Chest series (above) and Monumental Junkyard (below).
Above: Monumental Junkyard, 2007. Marble, 40 pieces each 6 x 213 x 91 cm, 20 pieces each 6 x 210 x 80cm. Image is copyright Glucksman Gallery, courtesy of the artist
More information about Ai Weiwei's disappearance can be found here.
Above: Marble Chair, 2008. Marble, 120 x 56 x 46 cm. Image courtesy of the artist
The exhibition will be open 13 May-16 July.
Above: Beijing: The Second Ring, 2005. Video, January 14 – February 11 2005, 1h 6min. Image courtesy of the artist
Above and top: Colored Vases, 2006. Neolithic vases (5000-3000 BC) and industrial paint. 51 pieces, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist
The information that follows is from the Lisson Gallery:
Lisson Gallery is proud to present a major exhibition of work by Ai Weiwei. From 13 May to 16 July 2011 Ai Weiwei will present a show of sculptural and video works at Lisson Gallery. This will be a chance to view a number of key works by the artist, one of the most significant cultural figures of his generation, both in China and internationally.
Ai Weiwei successfully occupies multiple roles as a conceptual artist, architect, curator, designer, film-maker, publisher, and social and cultural critic. Following on from his landmark Unilever series commission Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern (until 2 May 2011), the show will be his first at Lisson Gallery and will be held across both Bell Street spaces.
Greg Hilty of Lisson Gallery says: “We are thrilled at the opportunity to bring to a UK public a selection of key works that demonstrate the range and sensibility of Ai Weiwei. Beautifully crafted, conceptually acute, poetically resonant, these works provide a concise overview of his concerns as an artist.”
In many ways deeply political, Ai Weiwei’s work explores the tension in ideology, what he describes “as being between a more interesting state of mind and a more dreadful state of mind. The artist should be for the interesting against the dreadful." Using a variety of formal languages with both traditional and innovative methods of production, Ai links the past with the present and explores the geopolitical, economic and cultural realities affecting the world with humour and compassion. Described as “the best artist to have appeared since the Cultural Revolution in China” , his work can be seen as a succession of gestures critiquing both commodity fetishism and the society in which he lives.
Among numerous international projects planned for next year are exhibitions of Ai’s photographic works at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and his architectural projects at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria.
The selection of key works from the past six years was agreed with the artist at the beginning of this year.
Ai Weiwei was detained by authorities in Beijing while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong on 3 April and has not been seen or heard from since. Lisson Gallery, along with all his supporters in the UK and around the world, is alarmed by the detention of Ai Weiwei and greatly concerned for his safety.
Updated news and information can be found at www.freeaiweiwei.org. Please sign a petition started by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and signed by leading members of the international arts community here.
The studio and supporters of Ai Weiwei are determined to proceed with his planned projects. We hope you will join us to see and celebrate the work of one of the most significant living artists, cultural figures, and champions of human rights in China and worldwide.
About the Artist
Ai Weiwei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China, where he lives and works. Solo exhibitions include Stiftung DKM, Duisburg (2010); Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland (2010); Arcadia University Gallery, Glenside (2010); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2009); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2009); Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing (2009); Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Cambelltown Arts Center, Sydney (2008); Groninger Museum, Groningen (2008). Group exhibitions include the São Paulo Biennial (2010); Biennale Architecture, Venice (2008); Documenta 12, Kassel (2007) and Tate Liverpool (2007).
Dates:13 May - 16 July 2011
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm
Location: 52-54 and 29 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA