Xu Ruotao: Pattern Recognition
December 13, 2007 to February 2, 2008
Opening reception December 13 from 5 to 9 PM

218 West 3rd Street, Bradbury Building, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Contact: Karon Morono and Eliot Kiang
213.628.8208 tel, 213.628-8207 fax
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 6PM

Xu Ruotao, Blue, 2007, Oil on Canvas, 83" x 70".

All meanings behind an artwork are abstract.
—Xu Ruotao
Morono Kiang Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition Xu Ruotao: Pattern Recognition, a solo show by the mid-career Chinese artist. The exhibition will be on view from December 13, 2007 to February 2, 2008. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, December 13, from 5 to 9 PM, coinciding with the Downtown Art Walk.
The exhibition will include nine large-scale abstract paintings that reflect Xu Ruotao’s recent artistic practice. These primarily monochromatic paintings have subtle additions of contrasting pigments that heighten the illusion of spatial depth. By layering line after fine line, the artist creates a visual friction, and ultimately the process forms a complex pattern.
Lines are the most basic language of contemporary Chinese abstract art, and Xu Ruotao creates intense debate and dialogue around the idea of abstraction. He refuses to accept that these lines and patterns have any meaning—they are only part of an image, the result of impassivity by the artist. Amidst today's information overload, Xu Ruotao's paintings are essentially empty or deflated. The images often look beautiful, but the meaning is intensely cynical. Not only is the image abstract, but the meaning is also abstract. As curator Karen Smith wrote in Xu Ruotao’s 2007 exhibition catalogue Oxidation, “Abstraction is not an easy choice in China. . . . Xu Ruotao does not see himself as an abstract artist. Actually, he doesn't think of himself as any kind of artist in particular, which is a force of liberation that allows for experimentation without prejudice.”
Xu Ruotao (b. 1968) studied oil painting for three years at Lu Xun Academy and then moved with other artists to the famed Yuanmingyuan Artist Village. It was while living there that he began to move from figurative painting and installation work to developing an abstract style. Because his work ranges from multimedia to painting, Xu Ruotao is not an easily categorized artist, and he has at times become detached from the core of an art scene. He returned from one absence as a curator—he organized the seminal Corruptionists exhibition in 1998—then faded from view again until 2005, when Ai Weiwei curated a solo exhibition of his work at China Art and Archives Warehouse (CAAW) in Beijing. He has most recently exhibited at Platform Gallery in the notable Chaochangdi art village in Beijing. This exhibition at Morono Kiang will be his first solo show in the United States.
The Morono Kiang Gallery is located on the ground level of the historic Bradbury Building in downtown Los Angeles. The gallery promotes contemporary art—focusing on Asian art from the last decade—and will host retrospective shows of recognized artists’ works, as well as the work of emerging artists.

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