Rhythm and Method, Wuhan (I)

Rhythm and Method. Abstract Art in China and Germany
Hubei Museum of Art
Hall No. 3/4/5/6
1 Sanguandian Donghu Road
Wuhan, Hubei

June 28 – August 4, 2013
Opening: June 28, 2013, 3:30 pm

Participating artists: Chen Ruobing (CN), Huang Gonghong (DE), Henriëtte van ’t Hoog (NL), Oleksiy Koval (DE), Yuliia Koval (DE), Li Lei (CN), Li Peng (CN), Li Zhanhao (CN), Kuros Nekouian (DE), Stefan Schessl (DE), Tang Xiao (CN), Yu Xiaozhen (CN)

Curators: Li Jianchun (CN), Laura Sánchez Serrano (DE)

A Question of Rhythm and Method
Preface by Laura Sánchez Serrano in the catalogue

Bars VI, 2012

Art schools or art movements used to be a phenomenon on a regional or national scale. However, in the last few decades, we have witnessed a process of globalisation that has significantly impacted the development of art and the way we understand it. Thanks to the Internet, new media and low-cost flights, art has become a global issue, allowing artists and curators to establish new methods of collaboration and cultural enrichment. Such is the case for the exhibition Rhythm and Method, Abstract Art in China and Germany. Initiated by the artists – already a sign of how things are changing in the cultural field – the exhibition aims to create a Sino-German dialogue between contemporary artists specialising in non-figurative art.

Taking the concepts of Rhythm and Method as a starting point, the exhibition highlights the similarities and differences between abstract art in Germany and China, building a bridge for cultural exchange and artistic dialogue. Rhythm and Method represent intriguing principles for understanding and appreciating abstract art: one focuses on composition and the other on procedure. Rhythm is a term normally used for music and literature, defined as a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound. In visual arts, rhythm is created through the repetition, alternation or gradation of pattern on a surface. Our eyes follow the surface, where patterns are arranged in a certain order, enabling us to experience the whole as a visual melody in time. Method describes the specific procedure used to accomplish a work of art. It refers to the specific technique used by the artists, the particular way they apply it and how their personal technique affects the result. There is no method without rhythm, nor rhythm without method. Method is the structure that allows rhythm, the engine that turns chaos into logical order.

Bars VIII, 2012

Bars VIII, 2012

In the case of the German group of artists, rhythm is the basis of their artistic research, the framework for their theoretical work. In 2010 Oleksiy Koval, Stefan Schessl and Kuros Nekouian founded the “Rhythm Section” group, a collective that supports artists in exploring the theme of rhythm through exchanges and exhibitions. Members of the group consider rhythm as the key for the perception and reception of art. But they all use rhythm in a personal way, expressing their own talent by different means, whether it be through geometrical compositions, in the case of Henriëtte van ’t Hoog and Oleksyi Koval, lyrical arrangements, in Yuliia Koval’s works, organic structures, typical of Kuros Nekouian, or expressive strokes, in the paintings of Stefan Schessl or Huang Gonghong.

The Hubei Museum of Art in Wuhan is showing works from the German “Rhythm Section” group for the first time, in dialogue with those of six renowned Chinese artists. It is an ideal scenario for creating intellectual exchange and stimulating debate about abstract art, immersing the visitor in a world of visual sensations connecting East and West.