Art In America

Zhang Dali

at Klein Sun Gallery,
525 W. 22nd St.

"Holiness" is not a term that crops up very often in contemporary art discourse. But that's exactly what Beijing-based Zhang Dali, one of the seminal avant-garde figures in post-Mao China, says he is aiming for in this mixed-medium show. White fiberglass casts of fully clothed migrant workers, interspersed with cast white doves, evoke the simultaneous hope and despair associated with Tiananmen Square. The figures recall Western Classicism, the doves biblical purity and transcendental enlightenment. Yet the works are more Cynical Realist than ideal. The postures of the migrants bespeak endurance, not heroism; the blue sky of the cyanotypes is pale and crinkled; in the paintings, torsos and bodies are disconnected; and the pervasive white hue, so pristine to Western eyes, is a ghostly, funereal color in China. Finally, let us not forget the nude, flesh-colored figures hanging upside down like so many slabs of meat in a stairwell beyond the second gallery.

 

 

More from the Lookout

Closing

Daniel Buren

at Bortolami,
through Jun. 24
39 Walker Street

Florine Stettheimer

at the Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 24
1109 5th Avenue

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Roni Horn

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
548 West 22nd Street

Closing

Walead Beshty

at Petzel Gallery,
through Jun. 27
456 West 18th Street

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street

Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue

Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

Closing

Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini

at The Center for Italian Modern Art,
through Jun. 24
421 Broome Street

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.