Jeff Elrod, Alex Hubbard, Yang Shu

13 July - 4 September 2018

Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, is delighted to present a group exhibition of works by Jeff Elrod, Alex Hubbard and Yang Shu. Working across the painted medium, all three artists share a commitment to gesture, colour and graphic mark-making, albeit in very different ways. Yet a common approach to anti-hierarchical materials and techniques unites the three artists, each of whom continues to challenge the traditions of painting in bold and experimental ways, not least in their handling of the performative gesture and the ways in which it can be relayed in two dimensions.

Jeff Elrod’s large-scale abstract paintings are concerned with the relationship between hand-painted and digitally-created mark-making. Central to Elrod’s practice is the development of sophisticated software and print technology, which has enabled him to combine typically ‘analogue’ and ‘digital’ techniques, resulting in an innovative visual language specifically his own. Many of his works are hybrid images that incorporate more traditional materials with ‘frictionless’ digital drawings that originate using familiar programmes such as Illustrator and Photoshop. The resulting paintings are characterised by shifts between flat planes of colour and a reductive, computerised iconography.

Alex Hubbard’s paintings, by contrast, often suggest a mechanical means of production. Fields of colour in fibreglass and resin are interrupted with richly pooled, dripped and poured paint. Working with fast-drying materials, such as epoxy and latex, the artist is forced to act quickly, embracing chance happenings and revelling in the autonomy of his chosen media. Through this deconstruction every traditional opposition of the formal language of painting is opened up: figure and ground, material and illusionistic depth, the horizontality of production and the verticality of display.

 Similarly to Elrod and Hubbard, the artist’s hand is palpable in Yang Shu’s work. An early adopter of non-representational painting in China, his exuberant and unrestrained painting is informed by both traditional Chinese and contemporary Western art practices, as evidenced by calligraphic gestures and arcane, Twombly-esque compositions. References to German Expressionism and outsider art pervade Yang Shu’s practice, while his naïve, pastel palette is offset with graffiti-like scrawls, hinting at more subversive themes than his energetic oeuvre presents at first glimpse. 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Jeff Elrod was born in Dallas, TX in 1966 and lives and works between Marfa, TX and Brooklyn, NY. He has participated in residency fellowships at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX (1998); the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1993) and the Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (1991). Important solo museum exhibitions include Jeff Elrod: Nobody Sees Like Us, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2013) and FOCUS: Jeff Elrod, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (2009). His paintings are included in many prominent public and private collections including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. He is a recipient of both the Louis Comfort Tiffany award (1997) and the Claire Hart De Goyer Award bestowed by the Dallas Museum of Art (1992).

Alex Hubbard was born in Toledo, OR in 1975 and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He has been the subject of solo museum presentations at Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (2014) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012), and has been included in group exhibitions, including Progressive Praxis, De La Cruz Collection, Miami, FL (2017); Single-Channel Catalyst: Alex Hubbard’s ‘Eat Your Friends’ and Selections from the Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2016) and Man in the Mirror, Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium (2014). In 2010 he was included in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Hubbard was a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. His work is housed in such prominent international collections as National Gallery of Victoria, Victoria, Australia; Colleción Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

Yang Shu was born in Chongqing, China in 1965 where he still lives and works. Recent exhibitions include: W.T.Y – Yang Shu Solo Exhibitions, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, China (2018); THE DARK SIDE OF HEART, ArtDeop Space, Beijing, China (2016); Rain & Shining, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, China (2014); Yang Shu Paper Works, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, China (2011); Yang Shu Works, Art Alliance, Zurich, Switzerland (2011) and I don’t like you, Re-C Art Space, Chengdu, China (2010). His paintings are included in many prominent public collections including the Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China; Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China; Guangdong Art Museum, Guanghzhou, China and Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China. In 2006 he published Balderdash: Yang Shu.