Art Basel Miami Beach 2019
Dates: 2019.12.04 – 08
Magician Space will be presenting Wu Chen and his new Paintings in Art Basel Miami Beach 2019, Booth P02.
In The Red Studio Has No Artist, Wu Chen (b.1983, Beijing) appropriates, deconstructs and re-edits classic imagery from art history and popular culture, as a sanctified visual archive, from within the context of concrete social realities. In Mickey’s Adventure (2019) , Wu Chen casts the universally known cartoon character of Mickey Mouse in the role of a painter, and references Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (1602), using a distorted and satirical visualization to convey suspicion of the canonization and classics of art.
In this statement, Wu Chen centers his discussion on the language and reality of painting, creating a fictional scene in which he talks with Matisse in the studio. Here, Wu presents several artist portraits based on the likenesses of Matisse and himself, which borrow from the religious body postures and gestures of Classicism. Although posing as sublime and serious visual representations, Wu Chen’s portraits poke fun at the “sacredness” of the artist’s identity and the obstacles of external viewing. Wu’s humorous, satirical brushstrokes and themes respond to how our image archiving mechanisms construct the sacredness and worship of art, as well as point to the symbiotic and paradoxical relationship between artistic practice, secular life, and cultural production.
Wu Chen’s Rocking Chair painting (Rocking Chair Capriccio, 2018) and site-specific installation “Clock” are both inspired by objects that have appeared in Matisse’s studio and paintings. Through the conversion and transformation of the readymade, Wu Chen closely links the artist’s living conditions in the studio with his artistic practice. The works in the exhibition perform space-time discontinuities and detournement, and repeatedly return to the theme of the artist’s self-viewing and reflexivity. In the center of Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911), the hands-free clock symbolizes the stagnation of time and the perpetuity of falsehood. At the Miami exhibition site, Wu Chen will present a modern electronic clock showing real-time Beijing time, breaking the time and space boundaries set by Matisse. Wu Chen’s presentation of the “time zone” (a fictional geographical area concept) is his skeptical and intentional misreading of artistic authenticity and eternal time.