Critics’ Picks

Kirschbaum, 2005.

Kirschbaum, 2005.


Kailiang Yang

Kunstclub Hamburg
Jungfrauenthal 4
September 3–November 10, 2005

This solo exhibition of Kailiang Yang's paintings revolves around realism, presenting the young Chinese artist’s remarkably mature interiors and landscapes. In the series “Stühle” (Chairs), for instance, Yang has portrayed various types of seats, from the classic Eames armchair to a banal kitchen stool, so effortlessly and realistically that one is tricked into thinking they are actually before our eyes. Yang evidences the physiognomy of each object in painstakingly constructed images. However, photorealism is not the raison d'être here. He brings his talent to bear on an array of pictorial languages that go from somber, photographically exact images to light, flowing ones that are akin to sketches; Yang’s small landscapes, for example, precisely capture a particular atmosphere using only a few brushstrokes. In Busbahnhof I (Bus Station I), 2003, or Eilenau I, 2005, the chiaroscuro of an evening sky in summer and the glaring neon of a street light collide in a twilight so perfect that the viewer immediately visualizes the real scene. Different again is the impressive Kirschbaum (Cherry Tree), 2005: a loose netting of nearly bare branches, spangled with thick pink blossoms, fills the entire composition. An orange-red brick façade is the background for a skillful dramatization of sunlight intruding from above. Yang’s fine rhythmical nuance is at once titillating and perfectly balanced.