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BREAKOUT

March 5 – April 18, 2020

Lower Galleries

Opening Reception: March 5, 2020, 6 – 9.30 p.m.

Ethan Cohen Gallery is pleased to present Breakout, a group exhibition of groundbreaking artists from diverse backgrounds, featuring works by Raul De Lara, Zhang Yanzi, Hugh Hayden, Zhang Hongtu, Pan Xing Lei, and Isaac Aden. In keeping with the dynamic global focus of the gallery, Breakout reflects the richness of global contemporary art today.

 

Zhang Hongtu combines the traditional landscape style of Chinese painters such as Bada Shanren, Dong Qichang, and Shitao, famous 16th–18th-century artists, with the techniques of post-impressionist masters such as Van Gogh and Cezanne. This new conceptual painting of merging two distinct painting styles creates a third global style, unique to Zhang Hongtu.

 

Hugh Hayden's first sculptural work, American Hero (2010), is exhibited at the gallery for the first time. Hayden weaves African American hair into a taxidermied head of a buffalo, creating a visual portrait of American history, colonization, and the African diaspora.

 

Raul De Lara's work reflects on his experience as an immigrant from Mexico in the United States, being neither from here nor there, reflecting on ideas of nationality, language barriers, body language and the sense of touch, all expressed through his love of wood. For Being Left-Handed (2020), a cactus school desk with over 2000 hand-carved needles and Chiclets gum stuck under the fake hardwood desk, is a self-portrait of the artist's childhood in Mexico. The idea for this sculpture came from reflecting back on his catholic upbringing in Mexico, the nuns hitting his left hand with a ruler in the mornings, and the defense mechanisms children develop from trauma. De Lara made this sculpture for his first show in Mexico City in February 2020, which he was unable to attend due to his immigration status in the United States.

 

For his Tonal Series, Isaac Aden is looking at the history of art, from Monet to Rothko to express a new approach in painting. For Tonal Painting (2020), Aden has placed a tonal painting with an Impressionist palette on two Chinese wooden roots, which are generally used as bases in Chinese traditional decoration. By using two Anhui Province antique wood bases as the support for his painting, Aden creates a bridge between East and West that is both fresh and powerful, while also questioning the trajectory of contemporary painting.

 

Zhang Yanzi, who is a professor in the experimental painting department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, is an innovative voice in contemporary art practice in China today. For Lost Again (2019), Zhang uses ink on analgesic plasters placed on fluorescent lighting to create deconstructed landscape paintings. The experimental ink installation is shown in two groupings; half of which she has chosen to illuminate, the other half she has kept non-illuminated. The non-illuminated works demonstrate a more traditional ink landscape expression, while the illuminated grouping offers a new vision in Chinese ink.

 

Pan Xing Lei is one of the avant-garde artists from the 1989 movement. A graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Pan Xing Lei is a painter, sculptor, and cultural critic. The exhibition features two of his works. Imitating Guan-Han Man (2005) is a self-portrait in which he depicts himself as the Guan-Han man, reminiscent of a 5000-year-old living sculpture that looks like an artwork that is a cross between a pre-Shang Dynasty relic and guerilla fighter surrounded by Chinese graffiti. Pan's second work Imitate Xu Wei Calligraphy (2002) innovates on Chinese painting tradition and calligraphy by his use of spray paint, garbage, construction safety fencing, and a canvas window shade.

 
WORKS EXHIBITED

ZHANG HONGTU

Dong Qichang - Cezanne #9

Oil on canvas

84 x 42 in

2003–2004

ZHANG HONGTU

Shitao - Van Gogh #9

Oil on canvas

36 x 60 in

2004

ZHANG HONGTU

Dong Qichang – Cezanne #10

Oil on canvas

36 x 16 in

2004

ZHANG HONGTU

Bada - Van Gogh #6

Oil on canvas

78 3/4 x 25 1/4 in

2004–2005

HUGH HAYDEN

American Hero #1

Taxidermy buffalo head, synthetic hair

30 × 36 × 36 in

76.2 × 91.4 × 91.4 cm

2010

RAUL DE LARA

For Being Left Handed (Self Portrait)

Pine, Brass, Chiclets Gum, PVC Plastic, Particle Board, Galvanized Steel, Stainless Steel, Acrylic, Wood Glue, Poplar

27 x 12 x 13 in

2020

RAUL DE LARA

28 Years Later (Self Portrait)

Pine, Wisdom Tooth, Water, Rio Grande Dirt, Oak, Acrylic, Tzi-Te Beads, Red String, Wood Glue, Provincetown Sand, Walnut Dust, Terra-cotta pigment, Lacquer

84 x 15 x 17 in

2020

RAUL DE LARA

She's So Tired

Pine, Straw, Steel, Oak, Lacquer

50 x 13 x 22 in

2019

ISAAC ADEN

Tonal Painting

Oil, canvas, Chinese antique wooden bases

60 x 48 in

2020

ZHANG YANZI

Lost Again Series

Ink, analgesic plasters, fluorescent lightbulb

47 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 in each

2019

PAN XING LEI

Imitating Xu Wei Calligraphy

Acrylic, spray paint, concrete dust on windowshade

82 x 36 in

2002

PAN XING LEI

Imitating Guan-Han Man

Digital print and marker on canvas

72 x 51 in

2005