Mondrian and Liu Ye

Liu Ye
June 16 – October 9, 2016

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Boxes on Boxes, 2007

Acrylic on canvas 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Bauhaus, 2013

Acrylic on canvas 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Book Painting 3, 2014

Acrylic on canvas

 

The work is part of a series begun in 2013. The book motif appears often in the artist’s work, at times simply filling the entire picture plane, referencing a painting by Balthus or held by one of the subjects of his paintings.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Composition with Bamboo No 2, 2007

Acrylic on canvas 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Exhibition view

Mondrian and Liu Ye, 2016
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort 

 

Liu Ye grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution and his work often makes oblique and stylistic references to the propaganda movement of that period. His iconography of cheerful colors and distinctive figures are reminiscent of illustrations found in children’s books and shows the influence of the artist’s father who was a graphic designer and illustrator.

 

Photo © Wil Groenhuijsen

Mondrian and Liu Ye

Liu Ye
Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort
June 16 – October 9, 2016
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Chinese artist Liu Ye (Beijing, 1964) will have his first European solo exhibition in the Mondriaanhuis, in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. With the cooperation of collectors from Asia, Europe and North America, a one-off selection will be shown of his colorful oeuvre. The exhibition Mondriaan and Liu Ye will show the deeply rooted admiration of the contemporary Chinese artist for the Dutch master of abstract art.

 

Liu Ye was fascinated by Mondriaan’s abstract work from the very first time he was introduced to it. Liu, who was a student of industrial design at the time, initially considered Mondriaan a designer rather than a painter. It is therefore no surprise that Liu’s work enters into a dialogue with Mondriaan’s visual language rather than his theories. Liu’s work is realistic, but plays with his admiration of Mondriaan’s abstraction in a variety of ways.

 

Liu is among the first generation of Chinese artists who came in 1989 to Europe. He studied in Berlin, where he was introduced to a genuine Mondriaan for the first time, and started studying the artist’s work and theories. 

 

Mondriaan as a source of inspiration
In 1992, Liu made his first work that referred to Mondriaan. In the paintings from that period, Mondriaan’s works were literally part of his compositions. In later work, Liu expressed his fascination with Mondriaan in a different way, but the influence of his world-famous predecessor always remained visible.

 

Bamboo
In the 2000s, Liu’s conversation with Mondriaan through a literal inclusion of the latter’s paintings in his own composition made way for a more abstract interpretation. In that period, Liu focused on painting bamboo. This showed that he was not only influenced by Mondriaan and western art history, but also in a substantial way by the Chinese painting tradition. He admires the painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties in particular. In Liu’s view, the landscape paintings from these centuries-old dynasties tend toward abstraction, but Chinese art will never be fully abstract, he thinks. The possibility of abstraction is only touched upon, unlike the approach of Mondriaan, for whom abstraction was a religion, says Liu. In his own words, the artist himself has taken the best of both worlds, combining them in the bamboo paintings. To him it is landscape painting, but it is all about the geometry in his paintings. 

 

Book Paintings

Liu Ye’s most recent paintings are also interplay between realism and abstraction. In the Book Painting series the subject (books) is visible, in a very realistic way at times, but here, too, Liu is looking for the edges of abstraction through a simplified and tranquil representation in which geometry (line and surface patterns) plays the main role.

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