In Search of Humanity (solo show) offline
Albertina Modern, Vienna
16 March – 4 September 2022
The Albertina Modern presents the first comprehensive museum exhibition in Vienna dedicated to Ai Weiwei, an outstanding artistic voice of our time, a ceaseless activist, a proud critic of authoritarian systems and a truthful poet. In Search of Humanity extensively examines the aspect of humanity and artistic responsibility within Ai Weiwei’s oeuvre.
The exhibition highlights concepts such as: surveillance, censorship, human rights, freedom of expression, human displacement, radical responsibility, the power of beauty and the truth of poetry. Guided through these lines of thought the exhibition offers new tools to understand the relevance of Ai Weiwei’s artistic language, which comprises a wide array of art historical paradigms (such as the readymade) alongside more radical activist strategies, all of which are devoted to fathom the extremes of the contemporary human condition on a global scale. An impressive selection of works from the artist’s over three-decade career shall shed a light on Ai Weiwei as a preeminent figure within the contemporary art world.
A catalogue has been published to accompany this exhibition. Get your copy here.
AI WEIWEI et al.
Status Report (group show)
Kunstraum Potsdam | Waschhaus
4 June – 16 July 2023
Works by Ai Weiwei are included in the exhibition Zustandsbericht (Status Report) at the Kunstraum Potsdam. Presenting works from the Berlin Herrmann Collection and the Contemporary Art Foundation Berlin – a remarkable collection of contemporary art that comprises over 600 pieces – the exhibition focuses on a selection of works which have had an aesthetic impact on the turn of the century and whose creative spirit continues to influence the present day.
AI WEIWEI, EDMUND DE WAAL et al.
Underneath Everything: Humility and Grandeur in Contemporary Ceramics (group show)
Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
3 June – 10 September 2023
Edmund de Waal’s to begin again, 2015, and Ai Weiwei’s Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds), 2009, will be included in an exhibition on contemporary ceramics at Des Moines Art Center, Iowa.
Making Sense (solo show)
The Design Museum, London
7 April – 30 July 2023
Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition focusing on design will mix recent works with commissioned pieces, inviting visitors into a meditation on value and humanity, art and activism. This major exhibition at London’s Design Museum, developed in collaboration with the artist, will be the first to present his work as a commentary on design and what it reveals about our changing values. Drawing from material culture, historical Chinese artefacts, and the more recent history of demolition and urban development in China, Ai explores the tension between past and present, hand and machine, construction and destruction. The exhibition will include a number of site-specific installations, comprising hundreds of thousands of objects collected by the artist in the past year, from LEGO bricks to neolithic stone tools. The artist’s largest ever work made out of LEGO will also be on display.
Chief curator at the Design Museum Justin McGuirk expands: ‘[The show includes] things we think of as worthless in ordinary times, something as worthless as a toilet roll, which during the pandemic suddenly became precious… that for him was a real signal of how objects can gain and lose value depending on the context of our times [...] we are not presenting Ai Weiwei as a designer and architect... [but] using his work and his thinking to reflect on design and architecture.’
A Conversation with Ai Weiwei (talk)
SQUARE, University of St. Gallen
30 January 2023, 7–8:30 pm (CET)
On Monday, 30 January 2023, the organisation SQUARE will host an in conversation event with Ai Weiwei alongside art market expert Laura Noll and Square director Philippe Narval to discuss his his thought-provoking, socially conscious artwork, and provide insight into his ideas on how art and activism can shape politics and business.Following the discussion attendees will have the opportunity to meet with and speak to Ai Weiwei.
Ego vici mvndvm (installation)
Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
14 January – 18 June 2023
Ai Weiwei’s new LEGO work, Untitled (Saint George slaying the dragon), is now on view in the Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. Commissioned for the altar of the Benedictine cloister’s conclave chapel, the project reimagines Vittore Carpaccio’s renowned sixteenth century altarpiece Saint George Killing the Dragon, which is usually housed in the chapel but is out on loan until June 2023. Constructed entirely of LEGO bricks, Ai Weiwei’s replacement communicates with the historical and spiritual context in which it is temporarily inserted, drawing a dialogue between the Benedictine tradition and contemporary art.
The project takes as its title a quote from the Gospel of John inscribed along the frieze of the Chapel: Ego vici mvndvm (In this world you have troubles, but take heart: I have overcome the world!) 16,33. The artist thus establishes a link with the biblical episode represented, a paradigm of a definitive victory of Good over Evil, which can also be considered as an emblem of political and social activism in defence of human rights – a central tenet of the artist’s practice.
Ai Weiwei receives the Praemium Imperiale Prize
We congratulate Ai Weiwei on being awarded the Praemium Imperiale Prize 2022 by the Japan Art Association.
Praemium Imperiale Prize