Huang Rui, 1976, 2016, diptych, oil on canvas, each panel 59 × 59".

Huang Rui

Galerie Zürcher | Paris

Huang Rui, 1976, 2016, diptych, oil on canvas, each panel 59 × 59".

Huang Rui’s pictorial abstraction is rooted in Chinese tradition, as this exhibition made clear. The architecture of old Beijing is the first model for his work—its courtyards and hutongs (narrow alleys), the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the gardens of Suzhou and the cave temples of Dunhuang. The artist included three works from his “Space Structures” series, begun in 1984, in which he represents the urban plan of the city’s historic quarters. The transition from architecture to painting is visible in earthy colors that recall the fortifications of the Imperial City, and these pictorial cartographies uncover the organization of the urban grid, present but imperceptible to those who traverse the city.

The hexagrams of the ancient Chinese divinatory text I Ching (Book of Changes) provide a second model for Huang; six horizontal lines, joined or broken, are methodically

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.