Being Gray：Spiritual Works by Shen ChenMar 18 - Apr 25, 2023
Being Gray：Spiritual Works by Shen Chen
Artist: Shen Chen
Curator: Xu Wei
Venue: Chun Art Museum（655 Fuzhou Road,Shanghai）
Chun Art Museum will present a research-based solo exhibition by artist Shen Chen (b.1955), Being Gray – Spiritual Works by Shen Chen, from March 18 to April 25, 2023. It marks Shen Chen’s first solo exhibition at a public art institution in his hometown, Shanghai, since he left thirty-five years ago for the United States in 1988 to pursue his artistic career. Curated by Xu Wei, this exhibition presents nearly 30 acrylic paintings from the gray period to the Multicolor period. All artworks completed since 2004 offer a comprehensive and systematic overview of the artist's creative process from 2003 to the present.
Viewing Shen Chen's works is an action of life about unfolding and concealing, sensibility and rationality. In Shen Chen's paintings, fluidity is engendered from the cascading sequence of brushes, where meticulous and precise brushstrokes afford this fluidity a solid structure. It is a life flow that would not fall into the void. Each reticent and controlled brush stroke repeatedly lifts back the energy flow, like a retrograde movement downstream. Although the paradoxical appeal of this act does not come from a dichotomy, it is an integrated unity. It is what Gilles Deleuze referred to as the "logic of the sensation," which is neither rational nor intellectual but ultimately a relationship between rhythm and sensation, placing in each sense the dimensions and fields through which it can travel. When the viewer looks at the gray and light in Shen Chen's paintings, the eastern understanding of "qi" is compellingly perceptible. Ancient Chinese philosophy considers that "It only takes one qi to know everything under the sky," and painting is the presence and movement of "qi."The "qi" in Chinese brush and ink paintings comes from the subtlety of rendering its transitions. Shen Chen transforms such renderings into a cascading sequence of brush strokes, generating the rhythm of "tonality."The connoisseurship of oriental painting is measured by the artist's ability to represent "qi," which marks the beginning of a painting and the end of its appreciation. In Shen Chen's paintings of gradual radiance, where light is no longer the opposite of ash, but its essence and “qi" is no longer invisible but placed and perceived in the flesh of ash.
Shen Chen, born in China in 1955, is a New York based artist. He began his art education in high school and continued his training at Shanghai Art College (previously known as the Shanghai “5.7” Art School). He moved to Beijing after earning his BFA from the Shanghai Academy of Theater in 1982. In 1988, he came to the United States on a fellowship as artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Later that year, he moved to New York upon receiving an exchange student fellowship from the Studio School of Painting and Sculpture. He continued his studies at Boston University on an MFA scholarship the following year. He has lived in New York since 1991. In the 1980s, Shen Chen was one of China’s pioneers of Chinese abstract painting and experimental ink painting. He was an active member of “Art Salon” (an underground art movement). In 1978, he organized an experimental exhibition “Wild Rose” while he was still in college. Since then, he has shown his works at various art museums, including the Shanghai Art Museum and Ningbo Museum of Art. He held his first solo show in 1984 at the China Journalist Society in Beijing, collaborating with galleries in Asia, Europe and America, and has continued showing his works in China and abroad. Public collections include: the National Art Museum of China(NAMOC), China; Hexiangning Museum of Contemporary Art, China；Long Museum, China；Shanghai University, China；Today Art Museum, China ；Ningbo Museum of Art, China；San Shang Museum of Contemporary Art, China；Sagacity Art Foundation, China；Nantong Art Museum, China；Doulun Museum of Modern Art, China；Ming Yuan Museum of Art, China；Shanghai Himalayas Museum, China；Queens Museum of Art, USA；The Museum of Chinese in America, USA；Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany；Bochum Museum, Germany；Museum Hurrle Durbach, Germany；ME collection, Germany；White Rabbit Collection, Australia；Collection of Reydan Weiss, Germany；Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, the Netherlands；Singer Museum, the Netherlands；Duke Energy Corporation, USA；Collection of Fu Ruide, the Netherlands；Stibbe Collection, the Netherlands；Johnson and Johnson Foundation, USA；J&J Art Foundation, USA；Roma Academy of Fine Arts, Italy.
Xu Wei, born in Shanghai, art writer, independent curator, International Association for Creative Arts Education and Therapy（IACAET）, author of“The nirvana of art”.