正值瑞士巴塞尔博览会开幕之际，位于马德里的国际画廊马勃洛画廊（Marlborough Madrid），于6月7日推出双个展：来自中国的当代水墨画家徐累的“互INTERACT”和西班牙大导演阿尔莫多瓦(Pedro Almodovar)的摄影“静物vida detenida”。两位艺术家出自不同文化背景、不同艺术领域，但都通过各有优势的形式语言，表达了个人与文化的独特关联。历史上的西班牙，是多样文化融合交流的汇聚地，此次两展对映，又一次引发了西班牙文化界、媒体和公众的极大兴趣。
全球化的时代，跨文化交流在各种层面上展开，大大增加了艺术家的表现幅度。徐累的新作，及时反映了东西方文化渊源在融合方面的见解，同时暗合了中国人古老的“中和”思想。徐累的绘画日渐受到国际上的多方关注，在这次展览上，法国前总理多米尼克·德维尔潘(Dominique de Villepin)为他专述前言，对徐累的艺术作了颇有新意的导读。德维尔潘先生是一位资深的政治家，同时也是一位具有专业眼光的作家和艺术鉴藏家，作为法籍华人艺术家赵无极的生前好友，他为赵无极的绘画撰写了不少评论和诗歌，并以他的影响力持续关注和推广当代艺术。
徐累 Xu Lei《互山 Interact Mountains -1》
62 x 208cm 纸本设色 2018
徐累 Xu Lei《互山 Interact Mountains -2》
62 x 208cm 纸本设色 2018
Commentary on contemporary Chinese ink paintings from a former French Prime Minister
徐累 Xu Lei《互行 Interact run -1》
108 x 150cm 绢本设色 2017
Parallel to the opening of Art Basel, the international gallery Marlborough Madrid unveiled two solo exhibitions on the 7th of June. One tilted ‘Interact’ showcases the works of contemporary Chinese ink artist Xu Lei, and ‘Vida detenida’ exhibits Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s photography. The two artists come from different cultural backgrounds and artistic territories, yet they both explored the unique linkage between the individual and culture through their distinctive expressive forms. Since Spain has historically been a locale of cultural fusion and dialogue, the juxtaposition of the two solo exhibitions aroused immense interest in Spanish cultural and media sectors as well as amongst the general public.
In a globalised era, the multiplicity of cross-cultural interactions creates new possibilities of artistic expressions. The new works of Xu Lei reflect the understanding of fusion in both Eastern and Western cultures, gesturing towards the ancient thought of ‘Zhong He’ (equilibrium and harmony) in Chinese philosophy. Increasingly, Xu Lei’s paintings are gaining international attention, which is manifested in the refreshing commentary written for him by the former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. Mr. Villepin is not only a seasoned politician but also a connoisseur and collector. As a friend of the late Chinese French artist Zao Wu-Ki, he has written extensively on Zao's works in the forms of both commentary and poetry and continues to help to expand the international influence of contemporary art.
painting with the matter of thoughts
徐累 Xu Lei《床中床 A bed within a bed》
106 x 82cm 绢本 2017
Xu Lei is a rare painter. He’s a painter who lets his paintings not only speak for themselves, but also think by themselves. He shows us how images think on their own. How they can make themselves independent from the viewer and even from the painter. Indeed, they carry on with their private conversation.
I believe today, it’s also the task of images to think the world. Of course words matter. Of course ideas will have their say. But the globalization of mankind has reached a point where the collision, the confrontation and the conversation of cultures need to penetrate and infuse all spheres of man’s creation, into his very thoughts, dreams and beliefs. This is the task of art, of painting.
A Global Art is being born out of the unprecedented dialogue of our world. It is trying new ways and new possibilities. It is in many way a plural art, with many different starting points as well as many possible outcomes. An art that is being created and shown in China, in America, in Europe, in the Middle East, in Africa, in India at the same time. An art deeply rooted in its diverse traditions and locations, but at the same time an art totally open to the winds of difference and change. In this fraternity of like minded artists, a web of worldwide inspirations is appearing.
Among them, Xu Lei has a very particular place. He is a hunter of dreams. He pursues the eerie image of the innermost human experience. He faces us with mystery of meaning and with the enigma of contradictions. His paintings remain paradoxical and intriguing. They have the quality of dreams. Here in the collision of landscapes, when rubbles of Italian renaissance stones try to find their place in fine drawn ink landscapes of ancient China, we are direct witnesses of the confrontation of two concepts of matter, of existence, of representation. The contradiction isn’t resolved, it is worked out, accepted and transcended. Xu Lei doesn’t so much represent visions as he elaborates rhetorical experiments to judge concepts.
徐累Xu Lei《世界的床 World beds -2》
50 x 123cm 绢本 2018
In this endeavor, Xu Lei is a spearhead of a very important generation for Chinese contemporary art, the generation of awakening of Chinese pride and of China’s opening up to the world. This generation has had to enter the path of reconciliation of fractured times, between tradition and innovation, between past and future – and this in moments of great political and historical turmoil, in China and around the world. But it was also the reconciliation of a broken world, between East and West.
Xu Lei confronts contradictions, the unity of human experience in its most intimate and quintessential and the diversity of cultures expressing this experiences in languages the eyes are able to grasp. This is why Xu Lei paints with ideas. He lets the canvas think for itself, converse between two half-horses, one reminiscent of the symbolizations of Tang and Song China, the other memories of ancient greek and roman types, one static and hieratic, the other in an impetuous cavalcade, one in the elegance of lines and shades of colors, the other concentrated in the impression of volumes of a bas-relief.
There are few good news in our world of confrontations. Xu Lei’s work is one of them, because he announces the vivid capacity of art to overcome contradictions.
Dominique de Villepin,former French prime minister
Marlborough Gallery ,Orfila 5,28010 Madrid