Walsh Gallery

Xue Song

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Dates: Dec 1 2006 - Feb 3 2007

Opening Reception: Dec 1 2006

Xue Song is one of the most talented young painters to emerge in the Shanghai art scene during the 1990s. This is his first solo exhibition in America. The opening reception will be on Friday, December 1st from 5 - 8pm.The artist will be present at the opening.

Mr. Xue creates vivid large-scale "paintings" which are actually collages. The borders around his figures are made up of depictions of popular culture, whether they are of Mao ZeDong, Marilyn Monroe, or Coca-Cola bottles. Filler for his figures tends to be made up of commonplace and mass-produced imagery such as cheerful figures from Cultural Revolution propaganda, landscape paintings from old teachers' manuals, old Chinese calendars, and newspapers.

In the 1990s a fire devastated Xue Song's studio resulting in the loss of a large body of early work. Mr. Xue began to use ash as a painting medium to help mark this difficult period in his life. The artist covers his canvases with ash, mixes ash into his paint and carefully singes each collaged fragment. After Mr. Xue creates this base of collages, he paints a central figure or image on top of this background.

For example , in his "Coca-Cola" series, the artist contrasts a popular culture icon (a Coca-Cola bottle) with surrounding broken text in archaic Chinese characters. Also, the bottle is filled with fragments of traditional Chinese landscape paintings.

Xue Song's symbolic and physical layerings create a dynamic tension in which he contrasts contemporary and traditional desires with current realities. This duality in form and scale never ceases to create magic.

Xue Song's work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Shanghai Art Museum, Kunstmuseum Bern, House of World Cultures, and the National Art Museum, Beijing.

Exhibition catalog available.

Contact gallery at 312.829.3312.