The paintings presented in “Shelter of Desire” are some of the most recent of artist Xi Zhang from a major, ongoing series “Metallic Leaf Garden,” which was initiated in 2014. The paintings explore how the individual’s mind re-shapes one’s physical environment. Contemporary psychological theory allows that our conscious, emotions and subconscious can be akin to “paint” that consistently colors our reality. The artist’s investigation towards this incorporates a variety of individual psychological realms, depicting them in fictionalized surroundings to justify the relationship between one’s perception and one’s reality. He utilizes a mixture of expressionist/abstract aesthetics in a subtle, theatrical way to construct the characters’ environments, reflecting on their internal thoughts, struggles, personality, and/or problems.
Curated by Andra Archer for Arts Brookfield.
Thursday, February 16
ABOUT XI ZHANG
Born in 1984 in Kaifeng, China, Xi Zhang has been immersed in the practice of art throughout his entire life. Upon completion of his studies in painting at China’s Beijing Institute of Art and Design, he moved to the United States to further his artistic training at Denver, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from RMCAD in 2008, and that same year was recognized by then Denver Post art critic Kyle MacMillan as the “Emerging Artist of the Year” for his “well developed, surprisingly mature vision.” Zhang continued from there with his masters studies in painting at the University of Colorado, Boulder, receiving his MFA from the institution in 2011. That same year he was named one of the “12 Best Colorado Artists Under 35” as well as one of seven “Pathfinders” in the arts also by MacMillan in the Denver Post.
Zhang has presented his work in a number of notable solo exhibitions including “12921” at Rule Gallery, Denver, “Shows Promise” at the Jeppessen Terminal of Denver International Airport, and “11 Ceremonies” at Plus Gallery, Denver. In 2011 he was commissioned by CNN for their “Ripple” online international art project in commemoration of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, with his painting receiving more than four million hits from the news channels website. Later that year Zhang delivered a Logan Lecture at the Denver Art Museum as part of the prestigious series’ fall focus on International Contemporary Chinese Artists. In 2012 Zhang received his United States citizenship as an “Artist of extraordinary ability,” paving his way forward towards a career as a US-based artist. His work has been acquired by some of the most prominent contemporary collectors and curators in the state of Colorado.