For this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, Hauser & Wirth brings together an astounding group of contemporary and historical works by leading gallery artists, including Rita Ackermann, Louise Bourgeois, George Condo, Camille Henrot, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Day Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Tetsumi Kudo, Annie Leibovitz, Glenn Ligon, Takesada Matsutani, Paul McCarthy, Pipilotti Rist, Cindy Sherman, Gary Simmons, Avery Singer, Henry Taylor, Keith Tyson, and Zeng Fanzhi, among others. The presentation also includes a new bronze sculpture by William Kentridge, coinciding with his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, currently on view at Hauser & Wirth until 29 May.
Contemporary highlights include a new work by George Condo titled ‘Pink and White Profile with Green Eye’ – an outstanding example of Condo’s ability to powerfully capture the paradoxes and contradictions of the human mind and condition through an eye-catching blend of abstraction and figuration. Executed in acrylic and oil stick on linen, this strikingly scaled work – spanning over seven feet tall – is simultaneously dynamic yet measured, gripping yet deeply reflective. Two works from Camille Henrot’s most recent series Dos and Don’ts are on view. Playing with aspects of flatness and depth, the paintings are comprised of layered collage, spray paint, oil stick, pages from etiquette books, photographs, and computer-generated images. The Dos and Don’ts paintings allude to the omnipresence of digital life and question how social behavior is affected when images are determined by an algorithmic code.
The presentation also includes a brand-new work ‘Mind’s Eye (S)’ (2022) by Pierre Huyghe. A set of elementary components were given as images or descriptions to be imagined by a subject, among them biological entities, prehistoric tools, machines, code, and artworks. As the subject imagines these components, brain activity was captured by an fMRI scanner and an engineered deep neural network learned to recognize the brain-data patterns, which then attempted to reconstruct the mental images. Here, Huyghe’s project proposes that mental images can circulate from mind to mind, outside the realm of appearance, as synthetic telepathic conversation, or be externalized from the subjects’ minds and manifest themselves physically.
Roni Horn’s blue glass sculpture ‘Untitled (“Sometimes I think I resemble myself too much. I have always been someone else…”)’ (2010 – 2012), belongs to an important body of cast-glass works that the artist has made since the mid-1990s. The seductively glossy surface of the glass sculpture invites the viewer to gaze into the optically pristine interior, as if looking down on a body of water through an aqueous oculus. The changing appearance of Horn’s sculptures is where one discovers meaning and connects her work to the concept of identity and the fragility of its construct. In December 2022, Roni Horn’s first solo exhibition in China will be held at He Art Museum, Guangdong.
Historical masterworks on view include a selection of Louise Bourgeois’s works, especially drawings and bronze and marble sculptures. Carved out of rare pink Portuguese marble that evokes flesh, ‘Untitled (No. 6)’ (1998) perfectly embodies Louise Bourgeois’s interest in the relationship between one and others. Two exquisitely detailed sets of hands and forearms grasp at the wrists, joined together in an endless circle. This is on view alongside a few works from Topiary, a series of intimately-scaled bronze sculptures in which the female figure is merged with elements from the natural world. Often imbued with symbolic and anthropomorphic qualities, trees and plants are recurring motifs throughout Bourgeois’s oeuvre, first appearing in early paintings and drawings from the 1940s. As the artist explained, ‘a tree is a symbol of a person…. It has a right to exist, to grow, and to procreate.’
William Kentridge. Weigh All Tears
Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong
17 March – 29 May 2022
In work made over the past five decades, William Kentridge has recorded and reconfigured history – responding to the past as it ineluctably shapes our present – and in doing so, has created a world that mirrors and shadows our own. Through film, performance, theatre, drawing, sculpture, painting, and printmaking, Kentridge seeks to make sense of the world and the construction of meaning; his work brings viewers into awareness of how they see the world and navigate their way to more conscious seeing and knowing. Now on view, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong presents ‘William Kentridge. Weigh All Tears’, an exhibition organized working closely with Goodman Gallery. This is Kentridge’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, and the first project between Hauser & Wirth and this Johannesburg-based artist.