Chinese painter Li Songsong's first solo U.S. exhibition is currently on view at the Pace Gallery's 534 West 25th Street space through the end of the week. Li's eleven large-scale works consisting of thick, colorful impasto applied onto grids of canvas and aluminum, vaguely depict scenes of current events in China culled from photographs and found images. Zeroing in on specific sections of the orginal photos, Li "remov[es] the image from its original context... maintain[ing] a distance between the content of the image and the final painting," (from the show's press release). "[D]ivided analytically into rectangular fragments, reworked with multiple layers of paint, pocked and daubed with unexpected colors—[Li's paintings] become abstract and expressionistic, both obscuring and neutralizing the original content as [they] explore the imperfection of memory." The softly hued oil paintings display wispy, ghostlike figures hidden within deep layers of paint and bold brushstrokes.
Born in Beijing in 1973, Li says his paintings are "like telling a story packed with violence and gore with a huge smile on your face. It's how the stories are told that attracts you, and that's the art of it. Everyone knows the story. The important thing is the way that you tell it." Learn more at thepacegallery.com. Closes August 5th.