artist / participant
Zhang Enli - Bird Cage, a Temporary Shelter
Part of the Contemporary Commissions Program
April 9–July 7, 2019
Arthub is delighted to announce Zhang Enli’s solo exhibition Bird Cage, a Temporary Shelter to be opened on April 9, in Galleria Borghese.
Curated by Geraldine Leardi (Curator of Galleria Borghese) and Davide Quadrio (Founder/director of Arthub), this exhibition is a part of the Contemporary Commissionsprogram, conceived by Anna Coliva, and presents Zhang Enli’s monumental site-specific installation. Set in specific spaces of the Museum, in the “Uccelliera” and in the adjacent “Giardino segreto di Tramontana.”
Shanghai-based artist, Zhang Enli (b. Jilin, China, 1965), reflects on the relationship between architecture and art, in particular on the special relationship between the Galleria Borghese and the adjacent secret garden. Playing with transpositions, historical echoes, and hybridism, Zhang Enli creates four symbolic structures to reveal unexpected narratives. Playing between the complexity of historical strata and the equally layered reality of the present, Zhang evokes tales from distant lands and admixtures.
The two structures inside the Uccelliera recall columns, towers, and religious architecture encountered along the Silk Road (Greek columns, municipal towers, Persian palaces, and minarets in Samarkand). Painting on these architectural elements, the artist generates abstract suggestions through the use of light, colors, and surfaces, which in turn refer to the Galleria Borghese and its chromatic universe. The external structure, instead, plays with the concept of a “third landscape”: a painted version of nature that stands right next to the real one. The painter appropriates an uninhabited space and transforms it in the most primary architectural module, a cube, that the public can enter and interact with in an immersive way. On the outside, a monumental wall painting by the artist is presented on the wall on the Dei Daini Street, welcoming the public into the Museum.
Lastly, the Camouflage Balls placed in the Porch by Zhang Enli, reflects on the Galleria Borghese as a place of sculpture; the choice of being located in a transit area, in an inside/out, stitches up the very meaning of his overall intervention.
The sophisticated and nuanced references in Zhang Enli’s installation sum up the work the artist has been producing in the past few years, operating beyond bi-dimensional painting practices and experimenting with space. By means of deformations and reflections, Zhang Enli produces chromatic effects, lights and shadows, abstractions and organic forms, inspired by the colors and compositions of artworks from the Galleria Borghese’s collection; references in his work include masterpieces by Titian, Bellini, Caravaggio, and Bernini.
With this project conceived for the Galleria Borghese, Zhang Enli continues his exploration of poor materials. In a process of abstraction and sublimation achieved through his pictorial and artistic gestures with humble media. Their use is at the same time a tribute to artistic forms that have stirred global resonance—in particular, Arte Povera—and the creative base on which the artist paints, inspired by, in this case, the decorated surfaces of the Galleria Borghese and the Uccelliera.
Galleria Borghese has commissioned publisher, Corraini, for Zhang Enli’s body of work, available at the end of April.
Other on-going projects with Arthub
Paola Pivi’s exhibition World Record already opened in MAXXI, Rome, and will last until September 8. The artwork that gives the name to the show has been commissioned by Arthub and previously exhibited in Pivi’s solo exhibition Art with a View in Bass Museum Miami from October 2018 to March 2019.
Antoni Muntadas’s Exhibition on the Table & Screening Muntadas: Perception and Warnings is still on view on Arthub’s website and space, it will last until May 15. Curator Esteban Andueza was invited by Arthub for this project. A new episode of podcast on Muntadas’s art creation will be released soon.