Yan Pei-Ming — Help!
Past: October 21 → November 23, 2013Yan Pei-Ming — Bouquet de fleurs pour les morts A l'occasion de son exposition personnelle à la galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Slash se penche sur une oeuvre du peintre Yan Pei-Ming, Bouquet de fleurs pour les morts, pour proposer un voyage inédit dans les méandres de la toile.
It is several years now since Yan Pei-Ming’s work was last presented in a French gallery. The exhibition titled Help! is constructed around several axes characteristic of the artist’s practice. The portrait, the history painting and the vanity are presented on the three floors of the gallery in the Marais.
In a dialectical and pictorial relation, the secular theme of war and peace enter into confrontation in the main gallery space whereas the icon embodied in the portrait genre and the works on paper will be presented on the other two floors of the gallery.
Yan Pei-Ming summons up immediate history through careful observation of media images. His transformation of these images into huge-scale oil paintings gives a historical dimension to current affairs that is reminiscent of the scandal that greeted Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa. The beholder is confronted by the immediacy of an image of historical potential. But the absence of distance gives rise to doubt, to questions and emotion. The exhibition Help! takes on themes peculiar to “history painting” as well as themes taken from significant current events like the war in Libya or scenes of land and air combat.
“I am reminded once again of Manet and Goya as I stand in front of these works by Yan Pei-Ming — of them more than any other artist because of their constant evocation of the disasters of war, the use of black and white, their devotion to painting. (…) After Marat, lying murdered on the white linen of his bathtub, the procession of the executed and the assassinated stretches forth: Saddam Hussein, Lee Harvey Oswald, John and Robert Kennedy, Gandhi, Che Guevara, Aldo Moro, Martin Luther King, the good and the evil, all on their way, with holes in their bodies, naked, all labelled for the morgue. Always the same story, Yan Pei-Ming tells us. But the story needs its teller, someone with the stature to draw it all together, to pin it down and denounce it, using the tried and tested weapon of paint.”
Henri Loyrette, foreword of the exhibition catalogue
Yan Pei-Ming studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dijon. He lives and works between Dijon and Ivry-sur-Seine. Recent exhibitions include Painting the History, at the Doha Museum (Qatar), and Les Funérailles de Monna Lisa, at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
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