Born in 1972 in Amsterdam, Gabriel Lester is a representative of the young generation of European artists active in the international scene. Lester works across various disciplines including cinema, music, performance, installation, sculpture and architecture. Atmospheric and perceptual, many of Lester’s works revolves around the nature of the media of our time, transforming space and time through meticulously altering media and forms. Profoundly inspired by cinema from an early age, “How to Act”, one of Lester’s best known and widely exhibited piece expands the territory of cinema by bringing it into a discourse of space and time. Continuing such efforts, “All Right”, a commission for the 2006 Busan Biennale, re-defines filmmaking in the era of new technology and its culture. Many of Lester’s works are architecturally experimental; one notable cases being “Melancholia in Arcadia”, an installation presenting a frozen cinematic moment in an architectural space.
Gabriel Lester has exhibited at many major museums and biennales such as Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), Gemeentemuseum (Den Haag), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio), Performa 09 (New York), Artists Space (New York), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Liverpool Biennial (Liverpool), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Busan Bienniale (Busan), Baltic Triennal, PS1 (New York), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), and the World Expo (Hannover).
Lester’s work has been placed in many prestigious collections like Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Stedelijk Museum, Museum De Paviljoens, Almere, MUDAM, Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Rabobank Art Collection, and 21CMuseum, Louisville, USA.
Lester collaborated with Rem Koolhaas/ OMA and an interdisciplinary team in 2013 for a interior architectural project at United Nations’ New York Headquarters, which was nominated for the Design of the Year by Design Museum, London. In 2014, his installation ‘Cousins’ was one of the finalists of the Dutch Design Awards.
ARTFORUM, “Gabriel Lester DE APPEL ARTS CENTRE”, by Huib Haye van der Werf, October, 2016 [download pdf]
Leap, “Gabriel Lester: The Ears Have Walls”, by Lu Jing, Issue 151, April, 2014 [download pdf]
Blouin Artinfo, “Juliana Engberg’s Bold, Triumphant Sydney Biennale”, by Nicholas Forrest, March, 2014 [download pdf]
Oriental Morning Post, “All Walls in the World is from the Same Family”, by Zheng Yijing, March, 2014 [download pdf]
Shanghai Weekly, “Gabriel Lester – The Wandering Dutch”, by Yang Yang, March, 2014 [download pdf]
Art Papers, “Review of Venice biennale”, by Fatos Ostek, October, 2013 [download pdf]
Artforum, “Now You See It”, by Claire Bishop, Issue 52, July, 2013 [download pdf]
Art Review, “Momentum 7 Various venues, Moss 22 June – 29 September”, by Jacquelyn Davies, October, 2013 [download pdf]
Frieze Blog, “55th Venice Biennale: Afterthoughts”, by Dan Fox, June, 2013 [download pdf]
This Is Tomorrow, “Venice Biennale 2013: oO”, by Francesca Cavil, June, 2013 [download pdf]
Uncube, “Venice: The Ad-Hoc & The Kamikaze”, by Elvia Wilk, June, 2013 [download pdf]
Artforum, “Sharjah Biennial 11″, by Claire Bishop, May, 2013 [download pdf]
Frieze, “Sharjah Biennale 11″, by Jennifer Higgie, Issue 156, May, 2013 [download pdf]
Art Agenda, “Re: Emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography”, by Antonila Alampi, Sharjah Biennial, March, 2013 [download pdf]
Fortune Generation, “Dancing with the Space”, by Ren Chenglu, Issue 18, January, 2013 [download pdf]
Hi Art, “Cinema without Films”, by Jing Zhu, Issue 1 & 2, 2013 [download pdf]
Global Times, “Viva Roxy”, by Sun Shuangjie, December, 2012 [download pdf]
Time Out Shanghai, “Unmaking Movies”, edited by Sam Gaskin, December, 2012 [download pdf]
The Wall Street Journal, “A Party, Every Five Years, for 750,000 Guests”, by Kelly Crow, June, 2012 [download pdf]
Frieze, “Ideal Syllabus: Gabriel Lester”, Issue 140, June – August, 2011 [download pdf]
Forming in the Pupil of an Eye
December 12th, 2016 through March 29th, 2017
Gabriel Lester is featured among 97 artists who have been invited to create new works in this year’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art biennial in South Asia. Curated by the eminent Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Biennale is titled Forming in the Pupil of an Eye. The Biennale will run from December 12, 2016 until March 29, 2017. Details »
Do You Think That You Can Help Her Brother?
February 11th, 2017 through April 23rd, 2017
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
He An’s neon light installation, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother?, will be presented on the northern façade of ACCA’s iconic architecture as a keynote public project for Asia TOPA, comprised of Chinese characters gleaned from shopfronts and various sites throughout the city of Beijing, telling a dark story about love, desire and power in.
Drawn from popular news stories and online social media, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother? combines found texts to create a narrative poem that relays the experience of marginalized labour workers, popular Chinese novels, the sex industry and criminal underground networks in Chinese society. Details »
November 9th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017
Opening reception: Wednesday, November 9th, 5-8pm
Nina Canell: “Reflexology” is the first solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Nina Canell (b.1979, Sweden) to take place in China. Set across all three floors of the gallery space, Canell’s characteristically concise sculptural works of found and functional objects explore the often-overlapping networks and natural phenomena that surround us, probing the connections between material objects and immaterial forces. For this exhibition, Canell presents a series of new and recent works, incorporating site-specific elements and objects that have been sourced locally in Shanghai.
Taking the practice of reflexology as her starting point, Canell uses the exhibition format to investigate how the varying meanings of the term might be interpreted through the relationship between the work and its viewer. Details »
Jewish Museum 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St, New York, NY 10128
Aaajiao presents a new installation in “Take Me (I’m Yours)” at the Jewish Museum. “Take Me (I’m Yours)” was originally conceived by Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1995. The New York show is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, the Jewish Museum; Hans Ulrich Obrist; and Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator, the Jewish Museum. Details »
Times Heterotopia Trilogy III: The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away Guangdong Times Museum January 8th through February 19th, 2017 Opening: January 7th, 2017
Liu Chuang is featured in the group exhibition “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away” at Guangdong Times Museum. The exhibition is curated by Nikita Yingqian Cai and will run from January 8th through February 19th, 2017.
Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2016
Hardcover: 352 pages
550 color illustrations
11.38 x 9.88 in
28.9 x 25.1 cm
Since the publication of the first Vitamin P in 2002, painting has continued to evolve and excite, with new generations responding to its historic importance and taking it in unexpected directions. A central pillar of artistic practice, painting also has enduring appeal, dominating the art market. Vitamin P3 takes the conversation forward, spotlighting more than 100 outstanding artists who are engaging with – and pushing the boundaries of – the medium of paint.
Art Basel Miami Beach Stand N13 Miami Beach Convention Center December 1st through 4th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, November 30th
LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to announce its participation for the first time at Art Basel | Miami Beach. Located at stand N13, the gallery brings a group presentation of three artists; aaajiao, Cui Jie and Liu Shiyuan, each articulating a different vision of their experiences living, working and exhibiting in the city of Shanghai. Details »
Cui Jie, Building of Cranes #1, 2014. Oil on canvas. 150 x 110 cm.
November 9th, 2016 through December 8th, 2016 Opening: November 8th, 2016 | 5pm
chi K11 art museum, Shanghai Level B3, K11 Art Mall, 300 Middle Huaihai Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Aaajiao and Cui Jie are included in the new edition of the group exhibition “Hack Space” in chi K11 art museum in Shanghai, co-curated by Amira Gad and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and the Serpentine Galleries are pleased to continue their collaboration, which begun with the presentation of the group exhibition HACK SPACE during Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, by presenting a new edition of the HACK SPACE exhibition at the chi K11 art museum in Shanghai. The exhibition runs from 9 November to 8 December 2016.
PIXY LIAO, "A Collection of Penises", 2013-present
Asia Now Stand A207
9 Avenue Hoche, Paris October 19th through 23th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 19th
LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present “Girls: Portraits, Fantasies and Troubles”, a group exhibition curated for gallery’s second-year participation in Asia Now. The booth includes a selection of photographs, installations, sculptures and videos created by Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Pixy Liao, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, and others, which carefully study individual and collective emotions, experiences and expressions of young female Chinese in their everyday and professional life.
New to the gallery stable, Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Liao attempts to smash the stereotypes of hierarchies in relationship and gender roles by presenting a body of bold and experimental works — “A Collection of Penises” (2013-present) shows a collection of nineteen pink soft fabric models of male genitals in various possible shapes created by the artist’s partner; “Start your day with a good breakfast” (2009) is a selfie of the artist and her partner interacting in explicit and provocative manners. Having studied and lived in Beijing and New York, Copenhagen-based Liu Shiyuan presents a playful sculpture “But My Apple…” (2015) that captures a subtle second-thought on female’s sensibility. Details »
September 24th through October 25th, 2016 Opening reception: Saturday, September 24th, 6-8pm.
“Pixy Liao: Venus As A Boy” marks the first solo exhibition of Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Yijun Liao with the gallery, running from September 24th through October 25th, 2016. Having studied photography at University of Memphis and lived in the States for over a decade, Liao is highly influenced by the style of New American Color Photography in her practices, yet spinning off from the critique of “the American dream” to focus on the contemporary lives of Asian immigrants in the western society, presenting portraits and relationship hierarchies of the youth and the minorities with a rare observational wit.
The title of the exhibition is taken from one of the greatest hits of Icelandic musician, singer, and actress Björk Gumundsdottir, in which she questions masculine and feminine gender identities as socially constructed and breaks down the popular conceptions of gender binaries. Sharing a similar objection against the conventional assumptions of gender roles, Pixy Liao uses language of contemporary American photography of deadpan portraits, seemingly unmemorable objects, and staged scenes in her photographic practices to challenge the preconceived notions about characteristics and behaviors of different genders in heterosexual relationships in the Asian American society, throwing tradition out the window in an often humorous effect. Details »
Frieze London Stand H20
Regent’s Park, London October 6th through 9th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 6th
Titled after Arthur Rimbaud’s eponymous poem, “Le Bateau Ivre (Drunken Boat)” is young Chinese artist Chen Wei’s solo project that features his photographs of various formats and installations across multiple media. A time capsule on China’s disco and relevant youth cultures since the early 1990s onwards, the project outlines the growth of Chen’s generation through artist’s fabricated visual and literal materials which are informed by then British publications like i-D and the Face (once circulated underground in Beijing and Shanghai). Chen explores the mystery of Chinese disco, an apparition in most celebrated films by Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye, but barely made to the discourse of Chinese visual art. An unlicensed institution of Chinese youth cultures and generational concerns, Chen commented. Details »
Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan
No.12, HeLe Road, Xingqing District, 750101 Yinchuan, China
The first edition of the Yinchuan Biennale which will open on September 9, 2016 with the participation of 74 artists from 33 countries including China and will culminate on December 18, 2016. The YC Biennale 2016 is contextualizing some of the most important issues confronting the world from the scientific to the spiritual, from the psychic to the philosophical, from the catastrophic to the celebratory. Details »
After reviewing more than fifty portfolios and interviewing more than fifteen artists, the New Museum and the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) have selected Hangzhou-based artist Cheng Ran for a three-month residency in New York City, which will culminate in an exhibition in the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery. Cheng Ran will be working in residence at the Museum’s adjacent 231 Bowery studio space from August to October 2016, with his exhibition opening to the public on October 19. Though his work has been exhibited internationally, the New Museum show will be the artist’s first US solo exhibition and the result of his first visit to the United States.
Elizabeth Neel, Traders and Trade Routes 2, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 180.3 x 195.6 cm
April 23rd through July 20th, 2016
VIP reception Saturday April 23rd,6-8pm
Artists: Chris Huen Sin Kan, Li Qing, Elizabeth Neel, Ken Okiishi, Shahzia Sikander, Taocheng Wang
“Performing Time” is the second curatorial collaboration between Pilar Corrias Gallery (London) and Leo Xu Projects (Shanghai), following a critically acclaimed exhibition in Hong Kong “The Tell-Tale Heart” (2015) where the relationship between narrative and new media was addressed. The new group exhibition otherwise steers its focus to painting as a medium that has recently gained vigor and repertoire from new ways of image-making, data, and performative languages in a world constantly reshaped by digital media. A product of the galleries’ ongoing opinion exchange on the gestural and time-based nature of Chinese calligraphy and ink painting, the show evaluates the boundaries of painting by and through time: How the notion of time in its physical and metaphysical sense has influenced artist’s respective practices. Details »
10 Aug, 2016 through 9 Oct, 2016
Yang Museum, 3rd Floor, Building 14, No.6 Chaoyang Rd, Beijing, CHINA
Chen Wei is included in the photography-centered exhibition Another Landscape at Yang Art Musuem: the exhibition is curated by Jérémie Thircuir and will face the public on the 10th of August, 2016.
Landscape is a wide field providing endless inspiration and potential for artists, albeit one of photography’s most challenging genres.
另一种风景 – Another Landscape highlights the new vocabulary of contemporary photographers working in China, pushing the boundaries of the medium to differentiate themselves from mass image production. The exhibition encompasses both domestic Chinese artists and the group of foreign photographers who produced the Middle Kingdom. Details »