ZHANG XUERUI
b.1979 in Shanxi, China, and lives and works in Beijing, China

Composed of grids of gradient colours, Zhang Xuerui’s paintings embrace a dual construction of both the metaphysical and the concrete. The external characteristics of her work seem to have a fundamental flavour of cool abstraction. Nevertheless, her repetitive, grid-by-grid approach carried out through physical endeavour, and the uncertainty and contingency stemming from her personal experience and factors of sensitivity, altogether demonstrate connotations transcendent of pure form. The
rich messages revealed by her individualised formal language and methodologies provide further undertones to the foundation of Zhang’s work, which extend to her cultural identity. A complex and meticulous system is constructed from complementary resonances between the part and the whole, universality and particularity, as well as the form and the idea.

A graduate of the architecture department of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang is masterly in terms of the constructive process from scratch, and the interdependent relationship between elements within a structure, the architectural background entails subliminal influences on her artistic concepts and methodologies. Prior to the first brushstroke, Zhang sets the fundamental tone of the canvas, and samples the temporal direction and degrees of the gradual process with smaller sketches. The piece originates with pre-set colours at three corners of the canvas. During the coherent, inter-locked colouring process, meticulous shading of tones progressively blend the lattices, evolving and congregating into a “spectrum” on the face of the blank canvas. A purely visual space, detached from specific, identifiable objects, is thus fostered.