Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to announce its first participation in West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai. The gallery aims to introduce its artists to the Asian market for the first time and consolidate the reputations of those artists already established in the region. These artists include Mamma Andersson, Jonathan Baldock, Yinka Shonibare CBE, David Shrigley and Luiz Zerbini.
‘The Weakening Eye of Day' is one of the largest paintings ever created by Swedish artist Mamma Andersson. Executed on canvas rather than the artist's usual wood panel, the majestic painting is characterised by a loose and expressive style. A buck fallow deer with gentle eyes and imposing antlers comes face to face with the viewer. The work demonstrates Andersson's strengths as a painter as its spins emotionally charged narratives with revitalised energy and imagination. Also presented is a series of unique woodcut prints laboriously hand-printed onto fine Japanese paper. In these works, Andersson reimagines her visual language through woodcut print and incorporates the concept of slippage and misalignment of the images as part of the work. In 2018 Andersson had a solo exhibition at Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, was awarded the 11th Guerlain Drawing Prize, and curated a major group exhibition as part of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo.
Presented for the first time in Asia are works by Jonathan Baldock, the latest addition to Stephen Friedman Gallery's roster. This series of ceramic masks was developed during Baldock's residency as part of the Freelands Lomax Ceramics Fellowship in 2018 and subsequent solo exhibition at Camden Arts Centre, London. Baldock's research took him to the British Museum to study the collection of Mesopotamian clay tablets which trace the linguistic evolution of pictograms into cuneiform script, the world's oldest writing system. Inspired by these ancient modes of communication, the artist plays with clay's potential to communicate forms of meaning that evade verbal articulation. These masks teem with bright colours and outlandish expressions. Ripples of clay allude to folds of skin whilst incisions and abstract protrusions reveal physiognomic features such as eyes, ears and nostrils. Baldock's show at Camden Arts Centre travelled to Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland in August this year. He will have a solo exhibition at Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway in May 2020.
‘Planets in my Head, Music (French Horn)' is a playful new sculpture by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE that depicts a young boy with a French horn raised to his lips. The child's pose recalls western classicism while his Victorian costume serves as a reminder of Britain's colonial past. A hallmark of Shonibare's practice, the brightly coloured patterned batik fabric is a symbol of African identity. Designed in Indonesia, these fabrics are produced in the Netherlands and sold in West Africa. Vibrantly-coloured tapestries from Shonibare's new series ‘Creatures of the Mappa Mundi' explore what the artist refers to as "two of the most pressing concerns of our time: environmental protection and immigration." These works combine embroidery and appliqué and are inspired by the Mappa Mundi, the largest medieval map still in existence. The Mappa Mundi depicts people and creatures based on exaggerated tales of travellers returning from far off lands. Shonibare had a survey exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan in March 2019 and will have a solo presentation at Singapore Arts House in January 2020 and a solo exhibition at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg in June 2020. His immersive installation ‘The British Library' was recently acquired by Tate and is on view at Tate Modern until the end of 2019.
The gallery presents a group of colourful acrylic on paper and black and white drawings by British artist David Shrigley. This builds on the artist's reputation in the Asian market following the success of his British Council exhibition ‘Lose Your Mind' at Power Station of Art in Shanghai in 2018. Shrigley is best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on everyday situations and human interactions. His quick-witted and hand-rendered texts are typically deadpan in their humour and reveal chance utterings and snippets of over-heard conversations. Also on display is a series of collaborative mixed media drawings by David Shrigley and Yoshitomo Nara. All individually titled, these unique drawings are presented in Asia for the first time and offer a delightful fusion of each artist's singular style. ‘Lose Your Mind' toured to the following venues for three years from 2015 to 2019: Art Tower Mito, Japan; Centre For Contemporary Art, Christchurch, New Zealand; Storage by Hyundai Card, Seoul, Korea; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile, and Instituto-Cultural-Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico. Shrigley was a Turner Prize nominee in 2013 following his major mid-career retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London entitled ‘Brain Activity'.
Two new kaleidoscopic paintings by Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini entitled ‘Xingú' and ‘Psicótico' will also be on view. These richly coloured works draw visual references from the artist's hometown of Rio de Janeiro as well as from Xingú Indigenous Park, a nature reserve in the centre of Brazil. In addition, Zerbini takes inspiration from the iconic mosaic pavements and façades of modernist tower blocks in Brazilian cities, using the structure of the grid to investigate the relationship between colour, light and movement. Zerbini was once a member of the so-called ‘Generation 80', a renowned group of young Brazilian artists who aimed to revolutionise and revitalise painting, transforming the ‘traditional' medium into something that was relevant to modern Brazil. Zerbini's works incorporate abstract and figurative elements on their own and in combination. His work is currently on view in ‘Nous les arbres' at Fondation Cartier, Paris.