Lee Ambrozy

  • Hu Xiaoyuan, Xia Zhi (Summer Solstice), 2008, mixed-media installation, 6 x 23 5/8 x 31 1/2".
    picks September 16, 2008


    Chinese culture is steeped in delicate intimations sometimes so slight they can be easily missed. In “Subtlety,” curator Karen Smith presents a thoughtful selection of nine Chinese artists—of divergent generations, media, and creative thought processes—who demonstrate this historical refinement. Wang Wei creates site-specific installations that transform their exhibition spaces. For this exhibition, he has enlarged a dozen pieces of the tiny furniture used in real estate mock-ups. These life-size wardrobes and kitchen sets have an odd effect on the space, causing double takes. The artificiality

  • Piece of Life 11, 2007, oil on canvas, 55 1/8 x 47 1/4".
    picks June 19, 2008

    Liang Yuanwei

    In this exhibition, the sometimes-dense compositions and concentrated colors of Liang Yuanwei’s canvases nicely contrast with the cool, spacious gallery that houses them. On display are twelve large paintings and fourteen smaller renditions of the same patterns, all from the series “A Piece of Life” and completed in the last year and a half. Each painting is dominated by a pattern, thoughtfully chosen from among the artist’s garments or selected from the many objects surrounding her—a sofa, curtains, swatches of cloth. Repeated evenly for the full length of the canvas, the flowers, spots, and,

  • Ruins 1, 2007, wood and oil paint, dimensions variable.
    picks March 20, 2008

    Qiu Xiaofei

    It may be the relative lack of installation work in China that makes Qiu Xiaofei’s current exhibition seem especially satisfying. Or perhaps one can read Xiaofei’s work as a clever twist on the medium of painting, undoubtedly the most popular one among contemporary Chinese artists. In “House of Recollected Fragments,” he remakes objects as his own by painting them, as in his earlier work, but this time viewers are dwarfed by his vision. Xiaofei’s third exhibition in as many years is essentially an extension of previous themes—objects of nostalgia, childhood memories, and dreams are transformed

  • Jia Wen and Jia Lin, 2007, oil on canvas, 36' 1“ x 11' 5 3/4”.
    picks November 28, 2007

    Li Dafang

    Industrial detritus litters the photorealist world of Li Dafang’s canvases. Crumbling white tiled buildings (perhaps a metaphor for the sad state of architecture in China), as well as weeds, iron grates, and impossibly stacked boxes, populate these absurd and lonesome landscapes. At least one figure is present in each composition, but they seem mere afterthoughts, painted in coarse, vivid brushstrokes that contrast with their delicately hazy settings.

    Li strongly reflects the industrial aesthetic of artists from China’s northeast, though this exhibition represents a departure from his earlier

  • View of “Qiu Anxiong: Staring into Amnesia.”
    picks October 01, 2007

    Qiu Anxiong

    In a feat consistent with China’s boundless capacity for manual labor, curator Pi Li has relocated a complete train car to the inside of his 21,500-square-foot space for Qiu Anxiong’s exhibition “Staring into Amnesia.” The sole entrance is a house-of-horrors low stairway that funnels visitors into this gloomy train. Inside, twenty-four black-and-white archival film loops unfurl onto the windows, a different projection for each seating compartment. Socialist workers climb mountains in epic infrastructure projects, and the pruned faces of model workers stare back at you, intercut with Qiu’s