Time: 2023.09.23 - 2023.10.29
Address: 徐汇区武康路376号武康庭内

Shimmer and Stain: Chen Kai and Brad Brown Leo Gallery Shanghai

Artists: Brad Brown & Chen Kai Duration: September 23 to October 29, 2023 Opening: September 23, 4-6 PM Venue: Ferguson Lane, 376 Wu Kang Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai

Leo Gallery is delighted to present Shimmer and Stain, a joint exhibition of Chen Kai and Brad Brown, on view from September 23 to October 29, 2023. The exhibition will feature two of the most iconic series of works from Brad Brown's career, as well as more than a dozen new works by Chen Kai from the past two years.

Sunlight pours through the mist on San Francisco Bay, illuminating the vast Pacific Ocean. On the other side of the waves lie Shanghai's Huangpu and Suzhou River, which flow tranquilly into the sea. Brad Brown and Chen Kai's abstract paintings engage in a fluid dialogue between San Francisco and Shanghai. Their series of paintings represents an accumulation of time, the painters’ visual archives on canvas, and organisms of poetry and imagination that flow between brushstrokes and colors.

Brad Brown began his series of works on paper, The Look Stains, in 1987; and a body of oil paintings on cradled panels titled, Piece, in 2001. Both projects have remained “unfinished” ever since. No longer restricted by the dichotomy between the states of "completed" and the "not completed", the artist's daily creations grow and thrive like plants with vitality. Like a comic strip or a slide show, the objects in each painting are connected in a marvelous way and respond to each other. For Brown, his paintings are independent, but never alone. The series comprises thousands of paintings arranged into a network of visual information that undergoes constant transformation through the painter's assembly, cutting, pasting, and reorganization. The objects in each painting are splendidly connected and interact with each other like a comic strip or slide show. Each of Brown's paintings is independent, yet never alone.

Chen Kai's paintings go beyond the sense of sublime arising from large-scale abstraction. What stands out is Chen’s persistence in experiencing details through pointillism, which partially provokes the painter’s emotion towards his painting materials. In “repetition and difference,” the “repetition” highlights novelty, nuance, and an attempt to go beyond the ground rules. Nomadic flow exists between brushstrokes and shifting colors in pointillism. Chen Kai spent a year in an artist-in-residency program at the Marin Headlands in Sausalito near San Francisco where he could view morning mists, the gentle twilight of the Pacific Ocean, and eucalyptus trees dancing in the wind from his studio window. These eventually transformed into layers of light and shadows on his canvas.

Whether it's Brad Brown's paintings, which grow like rhizomes, or Chen Kai's paintings, scattered like "starry nights", they all ultimately lead to the expression of one's inner world and a breakthrough from mundane life. You can appreciate a painting without necessarily knowing how it's defined.

Text / Yu Weiying

Collapse details