The exhibition consists of a retrospective section and a themed-exhibition section. The retrospective exhibition consists of four main segments, entitled “Imagining Cultural Utopia: the Logic of Creation”, “From Analysis to Pop: Correction and Requisition”, “Materialist Theology: Material and Form”, and “Thing-in-itself.” This section of the exhibition presents more than 40 representative works from the artist’s oeuvre stretching back to the 1980s, the exhibition will also present a large number of previously unreleased documents, such as plans, sketches, videos and photographs. The themed exhibition presents the large installation thing-in-itself, which Wang Guangyi created for this exhibition.
THE LOGIC OF CREATION (1984 - 1986)
The “thing-in-itself” is a central category in Kant’s philosophy and a core topic in the modern history of human thought. The thing-in-itself is the source and foundation of phenomenal and sensory matter, but it is also something unknowable, outside the boundaries of cognition. It has a-priori spatiotemporal form and a universal, absolute metaphysical nature. It is the dialectical correspondent to the “thing-for-us”. In contemporary art, the significance of this category is particularly embodied in expressions of the multifaceted relationships between things and words, materials and ideas, rationality and belief.
FROM ANALYSIS TO POP：
CORRECTION AND REQUISITION (1987 - 1996)
Thing-in-itself: Utopia, Pop and Personal Theology – Wang Guangyi Retrospective Exhibition engages in academic research of Wang Guangyi’s art through the theme of “Thing-in-itself”, striving to present the historical dialectic nature of his artworks between rationality and belief, the vulgar and transcendental worlds, between politics and theology, while using the presentation of this typical case in Chinese contemporary art history to clear up the internal logic, image methods and situational influences of this period in history. The academic goal of this effort is to provide a Chinese-language critical case to the theoretical interpretation system of global contemporary art.
MATERIALIST THEOLOGY :
MATTER AND FROM (1997 - 2011)
THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES (2011 - 2012)