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Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei: Bare Life (solo show)
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis
28 September 2019 - 5 January 2020

Ai Weiwei, Tear Gas Canisters, 2016. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio
Ai Weiwei, Tear Gas Canisters, 2016. Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

This fall the newly expanded and renovated Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will reopen with a major exhibition of work by Ai Weiwei. The renowned Chinese dissident artist and activist is internationally known for rigorous, compassionate, and complex artworks that address themes of political, ethical, and social urgency. Designed by the artist and curated by Sabine Eckmann, William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, Ai Weiwei: Bare Life will be on view from September 28, 2019, through January 5, 2020.

The exhibition will feature more than 35 artworks created over the last two decades in a wide variety of mediums—among them sculptures, installations, photographs, and films. A selection of newly conceived large-scale and site-specific projects will be placed in dialogue with some of Ai’s most iconic works and several major artworks never before exhibited in the United States. Together, these objects provide new insight into Ai’s abiding concern for human rights and the global condition of humanity while showcasing his profound engagement with Chinese culture past and present—especially the radical shifts that have characterized China in the new millennium.

Ai Weiwei: Bare Life, which is organized into two thematic sections, takes its title from the writings of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who has long examined the notion of bare, unprotected life and its manifestations throughout human history. In recent years, Agamben’s ideas have gained new force as approximately 70 million people have been displaced from their homelands and deprived of basic human rights.

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis


Additional:

Ai Weiwei

Uli Sigg at Salon21 (talk)
K21, Düsseldorf
24 July 2019, 7 pm

Uli Sigg, art collector and former Swiss Ambassador of the People's Republic of China.
Conversation in the accompanying programme of the exhibition "Ai Weiwei".
Admission free, limited seats.

K21, Düsseldorf


Ai Weiwei

Everything is art. Everything is politics (solo show)
K20 / K21, Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf
18 May - 1 September 2019

Ai Weiwei, Everything is art. Everything is politics, installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21, 2019. Photo: Achim Kukulies © Kunstsammlung NRW
Ai Weiwei, Everything is art. Everything is politics, installation view, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21, 2019. Photo: Achim Kukulies © Kunstsammlung NRW

"Everything is art. Everything is politics": with these words, the internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Ai Weiwei encapsulates the basic principle of his working approach. This motto is also the leitmotif of his largest exhibition in Europe to date, which will be on view simultaneously at the K20 and the K21 of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Large-scale works and extensive image wallpaper transform the museum galleries into dense, accessible installations. The close interlocking of political engagement with artistic activity in the oeuvre of this important and disputatious artist allows the contradictions of the present day to become tangible.

Ai Weiwei, who was born in Beijing in 1957, is celebrated worldwide as an artist, architect, curator, film director and photographer. Impressions of Conceptual and Pop Art gathered during his time in New York during the 1980s proved fruitful for his working methods, which aim toward a critical examination of cultural history and developments in global society.

Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf