After my recent visit to artist Wang Jianwei’s studio, it was fun to see the final product of his finished works exhibited at the Ullens gallery.
Yellow Signal, as the exhibition is titled has been shown in four seperate chapters in order to show an evolving process. Yellow Signal is about the familiar yellow traffic light and how it is both a signal and signifier. Resting in between red and green, the yellow light also shows permission and prohibition. Lately this has been a very hot topic among Chinese artists who continue to push the boundaries themselves, not only on permission and prohibition but also as to what can be considered art. In this exhibition Wang Jianwei shows that he is not afraid to explore different medias as his exhibition was comprised of film, furniture, and other installations. I loved the fun and funky geometric cabinets!
After hitting up Diane von Furstenberg’s fashion exhibition, I stopped by the neighboring gallery Faurschou Beijing. Their current exhibition displays works by the influential artist Lucian Freud and his studio assistant David Dawson.
Lucian Freud, David & Eli, 2003-2004, Oil on canvas, 163 x 174 cm
This particular painting is of Freud’s studio assistant David Dawson who regularly models for Freud. With a close friendship built over 20 years of working together it is not surprising that he is not a stranger to Freud’s ability to scrutinize every little detail of the model’s character. This painting has a classic freud set-up, a nude model on a bed. Freud has depicted this in his paintings for years with models lying or sleeping on his studio couch, sofa or mattress.
The exhibition also displayed images taken by David Dawson showing the working process of Freud and giving a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. David Dawson is actually one of few people ever allowed to take pictures in Freud’s studio.