10 Rossi & Rossi highlights from the last decade

16th January 2020

As we head into a new Chinese calendar year, we wanted to remind everyone of some of our artist’s highlight shows from the last 10 years.

Siah Armajani – Follow this line

Featuring nearly one hundred works made over the past sixty years, Siah Armajani: Follow This Line was the first major U.S. retrospective of preeminent Iranian-American artist Siah Armajani (born 1939). While still a student and activist in 1950s Tehran, Armajani created collages that masqueraded as political broadsheets and presaged many of the concerns now associated with American conceptual art.

The exhibition includes many never-before-seen and recently rediscovered works from the 1960s and ’70s, as well as the artist’s landmark Dictionary for Building series (1974–75), composed originally of thousands of small-scale architectural maquettes. The exhibition peers through Armajani’s eyes as he develops an aesthetic of exile, and asks what the role of public art in America might be today.

Bridge Over Tree, 1970/2019.
Photo by Timothy Schenck, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Siah Armajani – Bridge over Tree

Iranian artist Siah Armajani’s “Bridge Over Tree” was on view at Brooklyn Bridge Park, marking the first time the installation has been staged since 1970.

The artwork features a 91-foot-long walkway with a set of stairs that rise and fall over a single evergreen tree.“Bridge Over Tree” is not the only historical overpass in the area — the artwork is located on the Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges with the East River and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

The piece, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, coincides with the artist’s first major U.S. retrospective, opening at the Met Breuer on Wednesday and ran through until June 2nd 2019. The sculpture is the sole outdoor component of the museum’s exhibition and will be on display through Sept. 29th 2019.

 

Rasheed Araeen – A retrospective

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presented the first solo exhibition in Russia of artist Rasheed Araeen (b. 1935, Karachi, Pakistan) in 2019, presenting six decades of work by the seminal practitioner who has had a profound influence on generations of artists, writers, and thinkers around the world.

One of the foremost avante-garde artists of our time, recognised as the father of minimalist sculpture in Britain, since 1964 Araeen has also distinguished himself as a pioneering writer and editor of dissenting and revisionist discourse on art history.

Araeen is a champion of Afro-Asian artists vis-à-vis Eurocentrism, a vision ary and passionate ideologue, and a groundbreaking performance artist. In short, his work has permanently reshaped the prevailing ideology of global art history.

 

Installation shot of Manora Fields at the 58th Venice Biennale

Image courtesy of Riccardo Tosetto Photography

Naiza Khan Manora Field Notes at the Venice Biennale 2019

For the 58th Venice Biennale, Pakistan will presented its inaugural pavilion, with a solo project by the multi-disciplinary artist Naiza Khan.

Pakistan’s first ever participation was supported by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan, and organised by Foundation Art Divvy.

Over the last ten years, Naiza Khan has looked at the transformations of sites such as the expanding Karachi harbour and Manora Island, foregrounding the dimensions of embodiment, ecology and habitation. Her practice is built upon a detailed process of research, documentation and mapping-based investigation of the island, looking at how this reshaping reflects wider changes in the Global South. The project Manora Field Notes, was curated by Zahra Khan, will immerse the viewer in life upon Manora Island according to the artist as translator and mediator. The work engages with multiple bodies of knowledge – archival material, historic myths, conversations with local communities and architectonic phenomena such as ruins and construction sites. It constitutes an archive of lived experience and reflects the shifting power dynamics within the landscape.

“One Thousand and One Nights” by Heman Chong

Heman Chong: Ifs, Ands or Buts at Rockbund Art Museum

Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) presented “Ifs, Ands, or Buts” by Heman Chong in 2016. Curated by Li Qi, Senior Curator at RAM, “Ifs, Ands, or Buts” is the first museum solo exhibition in Mainland China for Singaporean artist Heman Chong.

“Ifs, Ands, or Buts” is imagined as chapters of a novel; one that will possibly never be written. The elements in the exhibition explore attempts at writing and failure to put things down in words. In Chong’s world, things often start off as one thing and ending up as something completely different. The exhibition is a continuation of his conceptually-charged investigations into how individuals and communities imagine the future. This generates a multiplicity of objects, images, installations, situations and texts as the work.

The site specific installation entitled Legal Bookshop (Shanghai) involves the displacement of the gift shop with a bookshop that will carry only books that allows an individual to navigate the legal system in China. For this piece of work, Chong has hired Ken Liu, lawyer and award-winning author and translator of speculative fiction, who has researched and compiled the list of legal books that will be available for sale in this temporary bookshop.

 

Image courtesy of NaizaKhan.com

Naiza Khan: Karachi Elegies at the Broad Art Museum

Naiza Khan: Karachi Elegies was exhibited in 2013 and was Khan’s first solo museum exhibition in the US and showed a series of oil paintings, sculpture, and video works that mapped the tragic geography of violence in Karachi and place the human figure within it. Khan used the term “disrupted geography” to describe her oil paintings and video works, in which she layers striking images and words to create a dream-like topography.

This exhibition was organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Karin Zitzewitz, MSU Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture. Support for this exhibition is provided by Dipti and Rakesh Mathur. Additional funding is provided by the Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University; the American Institute of Pakistan Studies; and the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.

Anonymous explores the tension between an ancient culture’s unbroken artistic tradition and the personality-driven world of contemporary art. Curated by Rachel Perera Weingeist and largely drawn from The Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, the exhibition features over 50 works of painting, sculpture, installation, and video art by 27 artists living in Tibet and around the world. Many works will be on view to the public for
 the first time.

The inclusion of work from artists from around the globe—Dharamsala, Kathmandu, Lhasa, New York City, Oakland, Thimphu, Zurich and the Australian Outback—provides for a range of perspectives. Firmly established as well as emerging artists are featured, including Ang Sang, Benchung, Dedron, Gade, Jhamsang, Karma Phuntsok, Kesang Lamdark, Losang Gyatso, Marie-Dolma Chophel, Nortse, Palden Weinreb, Penba Wangdu, Phurba Namgay, Rabkar Wangchuk, Sherab Gyaltsen, Sodhon, Tanor, Tenzing Rigdol, Tsering Nyandak, Tsewang Tashi, Tsherin Sherpa, Tulku Jamyang, and anonymous contributors.

 

Elevenheaded Avalokiteshvara
Bronze with silver and copper inlay, semi-precious stones and polychromy
Tibet
Ca. 1400

Bronze

This exhibition in 2012 brought together outstanding works from the earliest times to the present in a thematic arrangement that is fresh and unique.

With works spanning 5,000 years, no such cross-cultural exhibition on this scale has ever been attempted. The exhibition featured over 150 of the finest bronzes from Asia, Africa and Europe and included important discoveries as well as archaeological excavations. Many of the pieces have never been seen in the UK.

Erbossyn Meldibekov, The Peak of Communism, Autumn, Winter, 2009.
Beaten metal saucepan, diameter 35.5 cm, height 14 cm
Courtesy the artist and Rossi and Rossi, London

Between Heaven and Earth, Calvert 22

Between Heaven and Earth depicts a radically different ‘landscape’. In 2011 Calvert 22 opened this exhibition featuring 23 artists, many of whom have not been seen in the UK before, the exhibition examines the recent emergence of a vital, critical and self-confident contemporary art from across Central Asia which challenges existing prejudices and stereotypes. It brought to UK audiences a strong sense of the overlooked, yet exceptionally vibrant contemporary art from the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as from Afghanistan and Mongolia.

Between Heaven and Earth is curated by Berlin-based curator and writer David Elliott, former Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Istanbul Modern, and the Biennale of Sydney. He has worked and published extensively on Russian, East European and Asian art as well as on many other aspects of modern and contemporary art.

Featured artists: Vyacheslav Akhunov, Shaarbek Amankul, Said Atabekov, Baasanjav Choijiljavin, Ulan Djaparov, Natalya Dyu, Mariam Ghani, Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev, Rustam Khalfin, Galim Madanov and Zauresh Terekbay, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Almagul Menlibayeva, Timur Mirzakhmedov, Saken Narynov, Aleksander Nikolaev, Ekaterina Nikonorova, Rashid Nurekeyev, Aleksei Rumyantsev, Oksana Shatalova, Aleksei Shindin, Alexander Ugay, Uuriintuya, Viktor Vorobyev and Elena Vorobyeva.

 

Tradition Transformed which opened in 2010 represents the unique position of this groundbreaking generation of Tibetan artists that includes Gonkar Gyatso, Tenzing Rigdol, Losang Gyatso, and Dedron. Several of the artists were born in Tibet while others come from Nepal or one of the large Tibetan settlements in India. Three continue to work in their Himalayan homelands, though the majority have emigrated to Europe and the United States. All have benefited from the possibilities of technology, travel, and personal artistic freedom, which inform their individual responses to the complex interaction between the traditional and the modern in both art and culture.

Artists featured in the exhibition give a guided interpretation of their work and objects from the museum’s collection. Participating artists include: Tsherin Sherpa, Kesang Lamdark, Tenzing Rigdol, Pema Rinzin, and Gonkar Gyatso.

 

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