Stephen Friedman Gallery: West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai 2021

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Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to return to West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai with a group presentation centred on painting. This selection is characterised by a focus on expressive forms and dynamic use of colour. Artists include Marina Adams, Mamma Andersson, Leliah Babirye, Sarah Ball, Lisa Brice, Ilona Keserü, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Caroline Walker and Luiz Zerbini.

The exhibition brings together recent paintings and works on paper by American artist Marina Adams. ‘Stardust’ is an immersive painting that features luminous forms of bright pigment which interlock and overlap. Whilst the painting’s geometric composition creates an immediate impact, Adams’ visible brushstrokes introduce a haptic quality that rewards sustained attention. A selection of works on paper demonstrate the artist’s bold exploration of colour and form on a condensed scale. Adams presented a two-part solo show at Stephen Friedman Gallery this year, following her exhibition at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas in 2020.

British artist Sarah Ball is known for her meticulously rendered portraits of men and women that celebrate self-expression and contest traditional binary norms. Revealing the idiosyncrasies of her anonymous sitters, Ball highlights distinctive physiognomy, hairstyles, clothes and jewellery. Demonstrating an acute sensitivity to the psyche of her subjects, she emphasises physical characteristics
that define how we outwardly portray ourselves to the world. On view is a new painting by the British artist titled ‘Laurent’, which captures the subject’s colourful make-up and elegant pose in exquisite detail. Ball will have her first solo exhibition with Stephen Friedman Gallery in early 2022.

A painting and works on paper by Ilona Keserü are also on display. One of Hungary’s leading post-war abstract artists, Keserü pioneered an organic style of abstraction infused with bodily experience. Her distinctive use of colour and soft forms draw comparison to Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois and Judy Chicago. This year Keserü’s work was included in ‘Women in Abstraction: Another History of Abstraction in the 20th Century’, a major group exhibition which opened at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France and is currently on show at Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain.

Recent paintings by Luiz Zerbini reflect the Brazilian artist’s interest in the relationship between nature and humanity in and around Rio de Janeiro. Inspired by the Atlantic and Amazon rainforests, ‘Optocinético’ combines hard-edged lines and sweeping curves, varied textures and stark geometry. A series of monotypes made using natural elements such as leaves, seeds and feathers echoes the collaged appearance of the artist’s paintings. This year, Zerbini had a major solo presentation in ‘Trees’, which travelled from Fondation Cartier to Power Station of Art, Shanghai.

A new painting titled ‘Clown’ by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson demonstrates the artist’s dreamlike and expressive visual language. The painting depicts the two masks of comedy and tragedy; one of which portrays a sad clown and the other a fallen hero from the realms of antique sculpture. Combining textured brushstrokes and graphic lines, this work demonstrates Andersson’s striking range of painterly techniques. The artist presented a major solo exhibition of her work this year at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

Also on display is a selection of sculptural works by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, dominated by the artist’s signature ‘African’ batik fabric. A new hand-painted ‘Bronze’ reimagines his celebrated ‘Wind Sculptures’ for a domestic setting. Adorned like a flag with batik pattern, this work is powerful metaphor for the movement of people and global interconnectivity over time. The artisthad a solo presentation at Singapore Arts House in January 2020, as well as a major survey at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg and a solo exhibition at the gallery this year.

Other highlights include a lustrous new painting by Caroline Walker in advance of her solo exhibition at K11, Shanghai in November 2022; a selection of vibrant works on paper by Leilah Babirye that portray real and imagined subjects from her native Uganda and a new work on paper by Lisa Brice that continues her interrogation of the male gaze through challenging arthistorical depictions of the female nude.

About Stephen Friedman Gallery

Stephen Friedman Gallery represents exceptional emerging and mid-career artists from around the world. Since its inauguration in 1995, the gallery has been based in Mayfair on Old Burlington Street. The gallery now has three spaces in which it hosts solo and group exhibitions throughout the year. Additional works can be viewed by appointment in private rooms and office spaces. There is also a facility to exhibit outdoor sculpture in a landscaped private garden.

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