A Painting of Thought I-493, 2015 was created to accompany the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society, 1915- 2015, on show from January – April, 2015. The edition relates to a series of works by Zhao, titled A Painting of Thought, which layer thick acrylic paint on fabric in an attempt to de-construct rational logic and to make viewers wary of conceptual habits. Varied textures are typical of Zhao’s paintings, so it was important to retain the contrast between the appearance of the smooth geometric shapes and the textile background in this limited edition print.
Edition of 55 works, signed and numbered verso.
About the Artist
Zhao Yao was born in 1981 in Luzhou, China. His work inhabits the dichotomies of ancient and modern that has disrupted Chinese life since the Cultural Revolution. With a background in graphic design, his work seems part of a Western abstract tradition but also freighted with symbolism: the use of denim, a material idealised for proletariat durability in the West, is a reminder of 1980’s Chinese fashion; seemingly enigmatic geometric patterns are derived from brain–teaser puzzles. Works are given social and spiritual resonance too, for example, by taking them on an arduous journey to a Tibetan monastery to be blessed by a ‘living Buddha’ before they are presented in a Gallery.
Zhao lives and works in Beijing and is represented by Pace Gallery, Hong Kong and London.