Ben Brown Fine Arts, London and Hong Kong, is thrilled to participate in ‘Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel’ at the Fine Art Asia fair, 26-30 November 2020, held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. We will bring together a selection of works by José Parlá and Gerhard Richter, highlighting the disparate and radical ways in which these two artists have explored abstraction. The works will span from the 1970s to present day, creating a dialogue on painting, texture, process, and colour, and the evolution of experimentation in abstraction over the last half century.
Rot-Blau-Gelb [Red-Blue-Yellow], 1973, a large-scale, mesmerizing abstraction methodically rendered from primary colours is a stellar example of Richter’s initial forays into abstraction, and an important precursor to his Abstraktes Bilder of the 1980s and beyond. In 1972, Richter began his Inpaintings series, first in tones of grey and then later in the primary colours red, blue and yellow, in which he applied three separate areas of paint on a canvas and systematically moved the brush in sweeping, rhythmical strokes until the colours were blended, resulting in myriad colour combinations and a wonderful textural surface and sense of depth. Abstraktes Bild [Abstract Painting], 1992, similarly demonstrates his interest in blending and scraping away paint for the work to evolve, in this case the formation of a grid reveals the subtle variations of a jewel-toned palette.
José Parlá, who in 2019 exhibited at the Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation, is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, large-scale murals, photography, video, and sculpture, who began his career as a young artist in the 1980s in Miami, and takes inspiration from the cities he visits around the world, creating tactile, organic, layered artworks that provide an urban history. Time Engraved in Names, 2018, and Mirrors, Italy, 2017, are vibrant, monumental works teeming with texture, revealing remnants of found posters and signage, various paint layers, oil stick markings, stones and other mixed media. Both Richter and Parlá have exhibited at major institutions across Asia and have a deep collecting base in the region. We look forward to this novel presentation of two of the most formidable, pioneering and sought after abstract artists of the 21st century.