Liu Shuishi’s (b. 1962) powerful work reflects the artist’s ongoing concern with modernity's complex history and the isolation and instability of contemporary life. Influenced by both Western philosophers, as well as German and Abstract Expressionism, Shuishi renders figures with large heads and exaggerated features in highly gestural, bold brushstrokes. Chinese traditional art and calligraphy ally with the thick impasto paint strokes to make works rich in formal presentation as well as content. His work has been a lifelong exploration of the history of western and eastern art combined with his profound connection to the history of philosophy. Highly reflective of traditional Chinese brushstroke calligraphy, his style combines this with bold, gestural and painterly brushstrokes that sweep across the canvas creating a colorful visual fantasy that keeps your eye moving around the canvas. The abstract marks, gestures and thick impasto paint strokes relate to figures and objects, but in an elusive and ambiguous style. Rather, the artist is focused on the energy within the mark or gesture. The significance of his painting is his ability to perceive human nature from the inside out, to find the truth of existence through a highly original style of painting.
This exhibition showcases paintings that reflect the artist’s oeuvre since his transition from more traditional Chinese landscape painting to his unique brand of existential expressionism.
Shuishi exhibited at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the Salon Du Carrousel du Louvre in 2009, The Grand Palace Paris in 2009, National Art Museum of China Beijing in 2006, along with scores of gallery exhibitions in China and abroad. While Shuishi has shown extensively over the past 15 plus years, this exhibition is the first time a large body of work is available for presentation, as well as private and museum acquisition.