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Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
20 March, 2017
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
13 May, 2017
Event Category:

Massimo De Carlo is pleased to announce that on the 20 March 2017 it will present in Hong Kong a unique exhibition that will bring together for the first time the work of Roland Flexner and Ai Weiwei.  The two artists first crossed paths in New York in the 80’s and have since developed an on-going friendship. In this exhibition, Roland Flexner’s iconic ink paintings will be shown together with a body of work by Ai Weiwei, which will be exhibited here for the first time and includes a series of paintings tracing back to his days in New York.

Ai Weiwei’s intimate homage to the delicacy of the human condition, composed of a set of porcelain bones arranged in a vitrine, will be shown alongside a new Lego work created for the exhibition and a never before seen body of work, which revolves around the notion of painting.  In each of the square black paintings, dating back to the early 90’s, Ai Weiwei has removed parts of the acrylic painting exposing the paint below.   This gesture is key in this series, where the rhythmic revealing of the paint underneath the surface questions the role of traditional painting.   Roland Flexner’s two series of ink drawings presented in the exhibition are part of his iconic body of work.  In these carefully crafted drawings, the artist explores how chance can interfere with creation, by developing a series of unique techniques that avoids direct contact between him and the paper.  Flexner uses manipulation, breath, water or gravity in order to move the ink on the paper, pushing the final results into pictorial dimensions, documenting the potential of the material and the control of the gesture.  Both artists are united by an exploration of the limits of painting and of what stands beyond those limits, where gestures and different techniques broaden the horizon of material potential and the narratives embedded in the material itself.


Roland Flexner was born in Nice (France) in 1944.  He Lives and works in New York. His drawings have been showcased in prominent institutions, among others: the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2013); Albright Know Museum, Buffalo, NY, USA (2012); Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, The Power Station, Shanghai, CN (2012), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, J (2010). Roland Flexner’s work was exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA in 2010.


Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) is an artist who resides and works in both Berlin and Beijing. China’s Communist Party denounced his father, the poet Ai Qing, in 1958 and his family was sent to labor camps, first near the North Korean border and then eventually in Xinjiang province. They returned to Beijing in 1976 after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Ai studied animation at the Beijing Film Academy, and then studied art in New York in the early eighties. Upon returning to China a decade later, Ai advocated for experimental artists by publishing underground books and curating avant-garde exhibitions. He has worked in many media, including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and film. He is an outspoken advocate of human rights and freedom of speech. He is the recipient of the Václav Havel Prize in Creative Dissent in 2012 and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2015.


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