“Shang Yixin” (solo exhibiton)
Beijing Commune (798 Art Zone, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, China) Nov 19, 2013–Jan 4, 2014
In his previous works, Shang Yixin often created ephemeral sculptures, wherein moving light cast over objects created instances of roving abstract shadows and a compelling visual relationship between darkened and illuminated surfaces. This use of light to articulate and animate form was a path he might have pursued further. Since 2011, however, the artist has been making work that joins the recent movement towards abstract paintings that look as if done by a machine. Multiple layers of paint have been sprayed over a regular square stencil to create intense patterns. Slight cross-shaped variations in the geometric field generate a sensation of sight rushing inwards or of something coming out from the canvas. The works on show at Beijing Commune now—the artist’s first appearance there and his first exhibition of a number of these paintings—present an unwavering purpose and hours of systematic input. Here is control—of form and color (all the paintings use a palette, graduated by the layers, of black and white or a mustard-brown). Their collective impression is of rational tightness brought about by the elimination of chance—these works reach, visually, for the abstract truth of pure mathematics. In sum, this (incidentally, sold-out) solo exhibition delivers a forceful impression—both visually and about the alertness of young artists to works that “work”.