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Exhibition
Like an infertile python egg, we are trying
8 July - 30 July 2022

Artereal Gallery presents Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, a magical new solo exhibition by celebrated artist Louise Zhang.

 

To view and purchase artworks from this series scroll to the end of this webpage or visit the gallery before the 30th of July.

This July, Artereal Gallery is proud to present a major exhibition of magical, wonderous and mysterious new paintings and sculptures by Louise Zhang. The exhibition is Zhang’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery and charts an exciting and decisive shift in direction by an artist at the zenith of her creative experimentation.

Titled Like an infertile python egg, we are trying this latest exhibition unveils paintings and sculptures which continue to explore a range of personal and cultural influences, including Zhang’s religious upbringing, her experiences as a Third-Culture Kid growing up Chinese-Australian, and traditional Chinese symbols and motifs. Having developed a cult following for her alluring and fascinating paintings, sculptures and installations which mash together references as diverse as horror films and Chinese mythology, Zhang’s latest works continue to be articulated in the artist’s signature hyper-coloured and sugary palette.

Ornamenting these new paintings are the addition of intricate handmade lattice frames which directly reference traditional Chinese architecture – in particular architectural devices such as moon gates. Interested in the idea that they are almost like mystical or sci-fi portals to another world, the symbolism of the Moon Gate motif has long been explored by Zhang within her artistic practice.

With these new works, Zhang’s frames utilise zinging, eye-popping colours in a way that both clashes with and harmonises against her paintings. This tension or feeling of both simultaneous attraction and repulsion is key to Zhang’s practice – she is an artist who has become known for work which explores the dichotomy and tensions which exist between the beautiful and strange. Arts writer Luise Guest summed it up best, describing the way Zhang’s artworks: “juxtapose an aesthetic of cuteness and riotous colour with darker imagery alluding to death and decay”.

Dominating this latest body of paintings are a cacophony of varied symbols, from the beauty and fragility of the peonies, pear blossoms and magnolia – through to the slightly unnerving gore of ghostly disembodied hands, bats, demons and disgorged eyeballs held in the palm of a hand. An underlying homage to traditional Chinese artistic and cultural practices (such as shanshui landscape painting and the contemplation of scholar rocks) further informs each artwork, allowing Zhang to embed within her paintings and sculptures a personal lexicon of symbols that carry both cultural meaning and private significance…

Rhianna Melhem
Curator

“The compositions of Louise Zhang’s paintings are inspired by traditional Chinese landscape painting shanshui, meaning literally ‘mountain and water’. The practice first became popular among Daoist poets and painters in the fourth and fifth centuries. Contemplation of such paintings allowed the viewer to wander within the landscape in their imagination, and Zhang is drawn to their inherent visual storytelling.

Works such as Louise Zhang’s Scholar mound studies offer a playful interrogation of the traditional Chinese scholar’s rock, or Gongshi. Shaped by wind and water, these expressively formed rocks were displayed like works of art and appreciated by Chinese scholars, who at the time were primarily male, for their ability to capture the creative energy force (qi 气) of nature. Zhang humorously subverts the sombre aesthetics of Chinese scholarly accoutrements by injecting the form with a perceived feminine aesthetic of sugary colours and glittery surfaces.”

Katharina Prugger
(Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria).

All installation and artwork images taken by Jessica Maurer Photography.

Zhang has been awarded residencies via the Australia Council for the Arts at the Institute of Provocation in Beijing, China, and the Two to Three Residency Program in association with Organhaus in Chongqing, China. Louise has been a finalist in numerous prestigious art prizes and was the winner of both the 2015 Fisher’s Ghost Art Award – Sculpture category and the 2015 Yen Staedtler Female Art Award. Her work has been exhibited at Sydney Contemporary, Melbourne Art Fair and Art Central Hong Kong, and can be found in numerous private collections both nationally and internationally. In 2017 Louise was a finalist in the NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship at Artspace in Sydney.

In November 2020, Louise Zhang had the honour of having three significant artworks acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria. The suite of works which entered the permanent collection included two major new paintings and a sculpture. The acquisition of these works for the National Gallery of Victoria was made possible by MECCA Brands and their ongoing partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria.

Since 2016, MECCA founder and co-CEO, Jo Horgan, and MECCA Brands have supported the NGV to acquire works by contemporary Australian female artists for the NGA Collection.

As part of this partnership Louise Zhang was also chosen to create MECCA’s limited edition 2020 holiday packaging, following on in the legacy of prestigious artists including Rebecca Baumann, Tammy Kanat and Tanya Schultz.
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In more recent news, Louise Zhang is currently working on two major public art projects, one for Nepean Hospital in Penrith to be unveiled in 2025, and one for Lendlease’s new development at Sydney Place in Circular Quay to be unveiled in 2023. She is also currently working towards a number of institutional exhibitions including; Personal Mythologies at La Trobe Institute of Art in Bendigo, VIC; 52 Actions at Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith and See you in hell at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW (in collaboration with Jess Bradford).
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Louise Zhang is also a current finalist in the 2022 edition of the Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Image taken from: NGV x MECCA: Louise Zhang Photo by Zan Wimberley

All prices are in Australian dollars and inclusive of GST. Framing (unless otherwise specified) freight and shipping costs not included. Please contact the gallery for assistance with freight and shipping. Prices are correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. For sales enquiries email: info@artereal.com.au

*Please note – ‘The eye of Qidu, seeing over me and Grandpa’, 2021 will be in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW, until September 2022.
Louise Zhang

Lucheng (one part of home)

2021
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
203 x 122 cm (framed size)
$11,000
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Severance is a/as a ghostly disease

2022
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
143 x 112 cm (framed size)
$8,500
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Overcoming memory

2021
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
103 x 82 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Divine intervention comes from a mushroom

2022
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
82 x 71 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Batty

2021
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
82 x 66 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Eat lots of fish during new year to make your parents proud

2022
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
82 x 66 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

The world was created by a snake. Or God

2021
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
82 x 66 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

No longer “left-over”

2021
acrylic on canvas, custom frame coated in satin 2-pack paint
82 x 66 cm (framed size)
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

The eye of Qidu, seeing over me and Grandpa

acrylic on canvas
122.2 x 153 cm
(SOLD)
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Vain Hope

2021
acrylic on canvas
112 x 122 cm
$8,000
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Python egg on scholar rock (large)

2022
polyurethane, foam clay, resin, spray paint, glitter, chromatic pigment
40 x 80 x 27 cm
$4,000
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Python egg on scholar rock (small)

2022
polyurethane, foam clay, resin, spray paint, flatback pearls, glitter, chromatic pigment
26 x 35 x 27 cm
$3,000
Buy Now
Louise Zhang

Lattice table (shrine alter table)

2022
custom table coated in satin 2-pack paint
45 x 180 x 50 cm
$4,500
Buy Now

Additional Information

Upcoming Exhibition

Previous Exhibition

main gallery
5 August - 7 August 2022
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.
Louise Zhang, Like an infertile python egg, we are trying, 2022. Installation view.
Image by Jessica Maurer Photography.