Representing the mental space, to the artist, a room both shelters and confines. The exhibition features two seemingly divergent pictorial series: Bauhaus Gal (figurative portraits on canvas) and Room (abstract shaped aluminum plate), created by the artist simultaneously between 2020 and 2021. The portraits on canvas seem to be in past tense, providing a historical background, while the shaped aluminum plates resemble more of real objects. From the aspects of “pictures” and “facts”, they work together to show the value she advocates for women: having the right of choice, being independently minded, unwavering and creative. The juxtaposition of the two series suggests a factual, evidential creator-product connection between the girls depicted and the specific objects. Ever since Frida Kahlo in Frida, A Woman (2013), the artist and poets in Cover (2015), Marilyn Monroe in Dream and Dew (2016) and Helen Torr in Anonymous Woman Artist (2020), she has chosen the creative individuals for the subject of her painterly creations, in each and every solo exhibition.
The Bauhaus Gal portraits are based on the zeitgeist-charged archive photos of the Bauhaus. Chen Ke prefers the classical conventions when delineating the faces of these pioneering young women of modern times. Immersed in their own world and in deep thought, they are completely oblivious of the gazes from the outside. While transforming into painting, these archive images undergo “physical implants” so that the painter can relive certain moments in life and recollect involuntary memories such as smell, light and touch, thereby reviving those black and white figures in these historical records. Her awareness of medium from years of painting practice (seeing in abstraction) helps her to establish a link between the ancient spirit and contemporary sentiments. In the portraits, one sees the physical sensation of the early renaissance fresco painting transposed, imbricated on the close-ups of avant-garde films. Again, in the two central figures complemented by the distinct elongated shadow on the staircase in Haus am Horn No.1, she invoked from her student days the mental impression of Evening Prayer by JeanFrancoise Millet, to fix the moment showered in the last ray of the day.
Chen Ke purposefully blurs the boundary between painting and photography, being and acting. Her portrait paintings restore to the moment just before the shuttle clicked, a moment in the past marked by the form, the props, the gesture, lighting, the look, and the camera shot, despite the fact that it is just her own interpretation, a type of restaged mise en scene. Her practice operates in the space between imagination and chemistry. Like photography, her paintings capture light and shadow to express congealed time. The insight reveals that her practice has never been in the pursuit of realism, nor for the sake of painting. One may say that the figurative and abstract language in the two series both serve in constructing a mind-scape, in and outside the pictorial field. The shaped aluminum plates were made in a state of purged subjectivity, or in other words, never before has she been so devoted to improvisation, much as the Bauhaus Theatre of Totality demands, to actively give up logic and intellect to be employed “on an equal footing with the other formative media”.1 These small scale works, taking the gallery space in its entirety, grow groups, break through the picture frames, connect with the movement of light and shade in real time and include the surroundings and walls in the visual field. Bauhaus Gal and Room exist in fictional territory but at the same time they are unique and truthful creation on their own. Chen Ke plots her art inside her own script, involving the medium of painting in the mutual generation of experiences and memories to endeavor an open-ended development. Spectators in the hall may contrast /judge for themselves the experiments behind the two styles, or perhaps just forget about painting all together by taking a stroll in the spatial-temporal set piece as if browsing through a picture album.
Chen Ke was born in Tongjiang, Sichuan in 1978 and currently lives and works in Beijing.
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贝浩登（上海）荣幸推出陈可最新个展：包豪斯女孩 / 房间。房间的意 象既是限制也是庇护，代表心理空间。展览集中呈现了艺术家 2020 至 2021 年同期创作的——包豪斯女孩（具象－布面肖像）与房间（抽象－ 异形铝板）两组看起来截然不同风格的作品系列。布面肖像作品似乎 是过去时态，提供历史背景信息，异形铝板系列作品更像实在的物品， 它们从“图片”与“实物”两个层面勾勒她所推崇的女性价值，选择权， 去柔弱，内心独立，创造性。混合并置这两个系列暗示肖像所描绘的女 孩与物品间有种真实的，作者与作品的佐证关系；陈可自“弗里达·一 个女人”（2013）、“密林”（2015）、“梦·露”（2016）、“无名女艺术家”（2020）以来的每一次个展都将创作者作为艺术表现的对象。
包豪斯女孩肖像基于写满时代气质的包豪斯历史档案图片。陈可采用 古典绘画的审美规范去表现这些朝气蓬勃的现代女性，主人公们表 情专注，沉浸在自己的思绪里，她们无视来自画外的注视。图片档案 在成为绘画的过程中接受了 种“ 体植入”，艺术家回忆自己对某 些时刻的印象比如气味、光线和触感，用这些超出图片存储更清晰、 长久的被动记忆去复活黑白历史照片中的形象。从长期工作中获得的 媒介意识（抽象地看待图像），帮助她建立古代精神与现代感受的 接， 此次展出的肖像画中，包豪斯时代前卫影像的特写镜头与观看早期文 艺复兴湿壁画的视觉经验重叠在一起。再如《霍恩住宅 No.1》前景中， 投在台阶上的呈几何形，拉长的影子烘托出画面中心的两个人物，陈 可调用了自学生时代 记忆，米勒所作“晚钟”去定格这个被落日余 晖眷顾的瞬间。
陈可作品的表达有意模糊绘画与摄影，真身与扮演之间的边界。她的 肖像绘画将历史图片中的场景复原到按动快门之前一刻的形体、道具、 动作、光线（打光）、表情和镜头，尽管那是她个人经验的版本，一种舞 台调度式的二次复原。 的工作在想象或者是化学手段的距离之间开 展，绘画与摄影一样借光影表达凝固的时间。从这个意义上，一直以来 她的作品都并非是视写实，甚至绘画为目的的。可以说此次展出的两个 系列中具象与抽象的语言服务于建构同一个心理 间，既从画面中也 在画面外。异形铝板作品她采用“去主观”的绘画路径，前所未有地投 身即兴创作，正如包豪斯“总体剧场”（Theater Of Totality）所要求的 那样主动放弃支配权，将自己当做生产媒介本身。这些一气呵成的小 尺寸 作尝试整体把握展厅空间，它们相互组合，取消景框，连接真实 的光影流动，将展厅的环境，墙壁均纳入观看的视野。“包豪斯女孩” 和“房间”存在于虚构的时空关系中，同时也是各自独立的真实创作。 陈可将作品代入自己编写的剧情， 绘画媒介置于经验与记忆的相互 生成中去尝试开放的定义。来到展厅的观众可以比较 / 揣摩两组作品 风格背后的创作现场，或干脆忘记大写绘画的心理负担，以翻阅图集 的心情漫步于艺术家营造的心理时空。
CHEN KE: BAUHAUS GAL / ROOM
Exhibition Dates: June 15 – August 14, 2021
Opening: Tuesday June 15, 2021 from 4pm – 7pm
开幕：2021 年 6 月 15 日（周二）
2021 年 6 月 15 日至 8 月 14 日
3/F, 27 HUQIU ROAD
Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM–7PM
Visitors are required to register at the concierge to enter the building.
*1. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Theater of Bauhaus, 1924.