until 26.02. | #3281ARTatBerlin | 68 projects shows from 15th January 2022 the solo exhibition Painter’s Portrait by the artist Chunqing Huang.
“Painter’s Portrait” is the title of a group of works by Frankfurt-based artist Chunqing Huang that will have its Berlin premiere at 68projects in January 2022. The pictures that the artist has been painting since 2016 on 40 x 30 cm canvases are portraits of painters. There are to be 100 works, about 80 have been created so far. A first part of the series was exhibited last summer at the Kunsthalle and Museum Wiesbaden, 30 new works will be on display at 68projects from 15 January 2022 under the title “Painter’s Portrait II”.
Chunqing Huang’s “Painter’s Portraits” are abstract. Bright colours alternate with soft or muted tones, bright, colourful paintings stand next to gloomy paintings, pictures with spots, brushstrokes or clusters of lines nervously scattered across the canvas are contrasted by those with clear, well-defined lines. Some works appear chaotic, while in others there is an almost meditative calm and balance. There are similarities and affinities between the works, but no two are alike. Each “portrait of a painter” by Chunqing Huang shows a different mood, its own gesture, an individual colour tone. In short, it seems as if Chunqing Huang wanted to explore the entire vocabulary of primarily gestural-expressive abstraction in her “Painter’s Portraits” – from Jawlensky to Rothko, from Kandinsky to Jackson Pollock, from Germany to the USA and back to Europe.
The titles of the paintings indicate which painter Chunqing Huang portrays in each picture: Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp, Johannes Itten, Francis Bacon, Imi Knoebel or Louise Bourgeois, to name but a few. Nevertheless, their portraits of painters are not images. They do not show us what the portrayed persons look like, but rather condense the essence and thus what is inherent in the paintings of the respective painter. Chunqing Huang’s “Painter’s Portraits” thus penetrate to the essence of painting, they decode the DNA inherent in the works of the portrayed painters and condense it into a single image.
By concentrating her relationship from memory, or rather her idea and her inner images of the art of those she portrays, in a single, rather small-format picture, she plays a game with us, the viewers of these pictures. Chunqing Huang’s portraits of painters not only show us how the artist sees the painters portrayed, they also ask us about our image of them. Does this correspond to Chunqing Huang’s perceptions and feelings? Can we guess, or perhaps even name with certainty, who was portrayed in a painting?
Ulf Erdmann Ziegler, author and curator of the exhibition in Wiesbaden, names this peculiarity of Chunqing Huang’s portraits when he writes:
“It is an act of appropriation that could be called both brazen and cuddly …. ‘Painter’s Portrait’ is a work from memory; or for memory; or at the process of memory. Just as some days she [Chunqing Huang] remembers Manet – that is, everything she has ever seen of him – on another working day she turns to Adolph Menzel. Or Max Liebermann. … In doing so, she does not look at what the painter sees, what the painter is concerned with; she wields the brush as her model would have wielded it. The model is an inner one. … One begins to suspect that the reference of one painting in the series to the other may be much more important than the name to which each portrait is addressed. “*
Chunqing Huang’s portraits of painters are thus art about art, they are paintings about other paintings, inspired by Chunqing Huang’s study of the works of many different artists. Painted by an artist who writes poetry with a brush, who slips into the skin of another while painting and asks, what if…? What if I painted an abstract picture as Claude Monet, as Francis Bacon, as Anselm Kiefer, as Irma Stern, and yet always remained myself?
The series is thus on the one hand Chunqing Huang’s personal history of painting since Impressionism and at the same time an overview of the different modes of primarily expressive currents of abstract painting.
The exhibition “Painter’s Portrait II” is accompanied by a catalogue, approx. 50 pages, with colour illustrations of all works.
Chunqing Huang was born in 1974 in Heze, China. After studying free graphics and painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree, she studied at the Städelschule with Wolfgang Tillmans, Peter Angermann and Hermann Nitsch, among others, whose master student she was. Her works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in Asia, Europe and the USA. The Painter’s Portrait series was shown in a joint exhibition at the Kunsthalle and Museum Wiesbaden in the summer of 2021, curated by Ulf Erdmann Ziegler.”
*quoted from: Ulf Erdmann Ziegler: “What you leave alone and what you do”, in: Art about Art. Chunqing Huang: Painter’s Portrait, Ausst.-Kat. Kunsthalle im Kunsthaus, Wiesbaden 2021, p. 7/8.
Vernissage: Saturday, 15 January 2022, noon – 7:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 15 January – Saturday, 26 February 2022To the Gallery
Image caption title: Johannes Itten (Painter’s Portrait), 2021, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm
Exhibition Chunqing Huang – 68 projects | Contemporary Art Kunst Berlin Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin