beijing

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portrait, 2008, cast bronze, 16' 4 7/8“ x 6' 9” x 7' 6 1/2".

Sui Jianguo

Pace Gallery, Beijing

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portrait, 2008, cast bronze, 16' 4 7/8“ x 6' 9” x 7' 6 1/2".

Sui Jianguo’s oeuvre illustrates a common dilemma for artists of his generation, a kind of dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder) in both theory and practice. Although not billed as a retrospective, this was a significant exhibition for Sui, who was born in 1956, succinctly presenting twenty-five years of artistic production and thereby opening a new vista on the contradictions and tensions in his work.

The exhibition was filled with hints at a classical heroism, for instance in copies of Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Bound Slave next to Sui’s reinterpretations, which show the figures clothed in “Mao suits.” Yet the allusion to the tradition of the sculpted hero is undone with Blind Portrait, 2008, a sixteen-foot-high tower of bronze, vaguely resembling a bust. Sui made the indistinct shape by sculpting in clay while wearing a blindfold; he enlarged

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