Art has no genre.
Yet, compared with their counterparts, female artists are more sensitive and intricate. Most of them tend to mix personal experiences and emotions into their works.
Four female artists are holding exhibitions simultaneously in Shanghai, presenting a varied visual world, whether abstract or realistic, in multimedia or on canvas.
Women in Abstraction
As part of the Center Pompidou X West Bund Museum Project in Shanghai, the exhibition, based on the Center Pompidou collection, includes an ensemble of 34 artists and nearly 100 works.
The first exhibition of its kind ever held in China, it reevaluates the critical contribution of women artists to the abstract art area.
Ranging from painting to film, sculpture to photography and installation, these works are shown in a chronological way, covering the period from the late 19th century to present day.
It features an ensemble of works by Sonia Delaunay-Terk evoking the importance of her simultaneous art and her links to literature. Several artists who shared the same sensibility, including major painters like Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler and Shirley Jaffe, are brought together in a room dedicated to abstract expressionism in the 1950s.
The monumental works of several artists who were essential to the development of textile sculpture in Europe and the United States are grouped together under the term of “Fiber Art.”
Date: Through March 8 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: Gallery 3, West Bund Museum
Address: 2600 Longteng Ave
‘Paths in the Sand’
“Paths in the Sand” is Hu Xiaoyuan’s first museum project in China in recent years.
Known as the first female Chinese artist to be invited to Kassel Documenta, she created a labyrinth cavity, where viewers begin a journey of choices to explore the different dimensions of time and materials the moment they step into the gallery.
The artist maps out routes, understanding that human behavior is ultimately unpredictable no matter how effective the subliminal messaging is. In fact, she expects the unexpected, as the visitor’s paths and choices will eventually make an imprint of existence with differences in the exhibition space.
With a career of over 20 years, Hu’s artistic style has always been dominated by delicate, analytical and implicit contradictions. She has been studying and working with raw silk for years. The material – pliable, translucent, and subtle to the touch – comes with a long tradition in China.
The 10 artworks in “Paths in the Sand” are juxtaposed with restraint and sensuality, sharpness and tenderness, fragile and durable, or temporary and eternal.
Date: Through February 26 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: Gallery 0, West Bund Museum
Address: 2600 Longteng Ave
The solo exhibition of Liu Manwen, featuring her latest 16 canvases themed on Chinese gardens, is currently underway at MUXI Gallery.
One of the pioneering female artists in China, Liu has an exquisite way of perceiving life, and her paintings are endowed with forceful expression.
Born in Harbin, in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, in 1962, Liu graduated from the Luxun Fine Arts Institute in 1982. She rose to early fame depicting the dilemma of women in the 1990s.
The “Chinese Garden” series started in 2010, as the idea of ancient Chinese literati haunted the artist for years. In fact, Chinese gardens are a repeated subject in Chinese ink-wash paintings, but seldom in oil.
“I chose Chinese garden because it is very difficult to paint on canvas,” Liu said. “But I always like to challenge myself and jump out of my comfort zone.”
The artist chooses light mint green and blurred depictions to reflect the gardens in Suzhou. “What I paint is not the garden in my eyes, but the garden in my heart,” she said.
Date: Through December 12, 10am-7pm
Venue: MUXI Gallery
Address: 1/F, Bldg 15, 148 Jiaozhou Rd
‘A Walk in Life – Our Story’
The exhibition features a cluster of canvases filled with brilliant hues. Some of the daunting pieces are 2 meters high and 6 meters wide.
Born in Hong Kong, Irene Chang studied and worked in Hong Kong, New York, Boston and Paris over the past decades, which left a seminal influence on her understanding toward the scope of the world.
Chang learned painting as a child, and later her passion for ancient poems, philosophy, literature and music nourished her depictions on canvas.
“Today, man hungers for perfect appearances, fresh love or fame and money, somewhat ignoring the purity of our souls,” she said.
Thus, forest fires or tidal waves under her brushstrokes “are akin to a memorandum written for mankind of the next century.”
The highlight of the exhibition goes to her series “We Love Apples – Eve” in which Chang depicts women with various postures, gestures and emotions.
Date: Through December 8, 10am-5pm
Address: 4/F, 999 Dongdaming Rd