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Catharine Clark Gallery: Wanxin Zhang | Totem
LigoranoReese | IAMI
- 8 Nov 2014 to 3 Jan 2015

Current Exhibition

8 Nov 2014 to 3 Jan 2015

Catharine Clark Gallery
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA
CA 94103
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338

Wanxin Zhang
The Refluent Tide, 2014
High fired clay with glaze, 24 x 24 x 32 inches

Artists in this exhibition: Wanxin Zhang, LigoranoReese

Wanxin Zhang

Catharine Clark Gallery presents Wanxin Zhang | Totem with an exhibition of life-size ceramic sculptures. Totem is deeply inspired by Zhang’s upbringing in Maoist China, his subsequent disillusionment, and his ultimate relocation to California as a young artist in the 1990s. The work in the exhibit reflects both a geographical journey and an ideological search. Totem demonstrates Zhang’s mastery of the malleable and expressive qualities of clay to disrupt and reshape both the form and meaning of traditional symbols and icons.

Zhang’s new monumental clay figures feature the artist’s signature style—a blend that reflects Bay Area Figurative and California Funk traditions with nods to Chinese history. Inspired by his time studying with Peter Voulkous, and by the innovations of Robert Arneson and Stephen De Staebler, Zhang’s figures explore the organic, evocative qualities of clay, and the impact of popular culture on the body. Pink Warrior (2014) exemplifies the departure and hybridity in Zhang’s new work: an androgynous soldier coated in a glossy bubble-gum pink sheen; face and body a landscape of finger prints, gouges, coils and layers; inscripted with individual emotion rather than blank anonymity. This warrior retains the free-form construction and visual weight of Zhang’s well known Pit #5 series, but is an entirely new ensign of power structure dismantlement. Zhang’s Pieta figures further exemplify the cross-cultural reshaping unique to the artist’s aesthetic.

Media Room:
LigoranoReese - IAMI

Exhibiting concurrently with Wanxin Zhang is a media room exhibition of IAMI by the artistic duo LigoranoReese. Working at the forefront of digital art, Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, who have collaborated as a team since the early 1980s, use unusual materials to make multiples, videos, sculptures and installations. This exhibit features IAMI: an interactive, fiber-optic tapestry self-portrait. The work dynamically departs from the established traditions of tapestry and portraiture through the artists’ innovative use of personal data and information technology. IAMI reflects the existential play in the way people use data tracking as a means for perceiving a deeper sense of themselves

IAMI is constructed of a single fiber optic panel woven on a hand-loom and attached to a custom-made, computer controlled lighting system, which displays information from the internet through the tapestry’s fiber optic threads. These newest portraits, one each of Ligorano and Reese, source the artists’ individual personal data to create IAMI’s imagery. Private data from the couple’s FitBits feed the IAMI software, creating algorithms that generate constantly changing patterns of color and light. While this particular iteration of the project are two self-portraits of the artists, the work is designed to be a commissionable work. Three times per day, IAMI contacts the “sitter” of the portrait by SMS or email with eleven questions which the sitter inputs using a mobile device. These responses are displayed as changing color fields.

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