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Idylls of the Kings



March 7 – May 3, 2015

GAMAInstallation view
GAMAInstallation view
GAMAInstallation view
Armored Car 运镖, 2014
Labsal (Alchemy) 三仙炼丹, 2009
Manöver (Maneuver) 无名高地, 2013

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on March 7, 2015 of Gama: Idylls of the Kings.  GAMA was born in Mongolia in 1977 and currently lives and works in Berlin. GAMA was born into a nomadic family and would move every four months as the seasons changed. His great aunt was an important shaman whose ability to connect with the supernatural world had a profound impact on the young boy. He eventually enrolled at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing where he studied oil painting. Finding that the prevailing academic approach did not satisfy him, he started looking at the works of European Old Masters in art books and pondering the works of contemporary German painters such as Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter.

Thus Beijing was a brief hiatus between the country of his birth and Germany, the European country which seems to have the greatest affinity with the mysterious and uncanny, the birthplace of countless myths and legends not to mention the Brothers Grimm whose fairy-tales still enchant. In 2002 he gained entry to the Karlsruhe Academy and in 2007 became a master student under Gustav Kluge. During this period he was exposed to the figurative painting of the New Leipzig School and soon found that the painterly skills and techniques he had mastered in Beijing could be used for entirely different ends than the more prosaic task of recording appearances.

When we look at GAMA’s paintings we are never allowed to forget that an oil painting is just that – oil paint squeezed from a tube and applied thickly or thinly on a primed canvas. Very often the main image which does not quite reach the edge of the canvas is surrounded by a thick layer of paint, leaving the impression that it could be peeled off to reveal a blank canvas. Elsewhere, dripping accumulations of paint question the illusion of three dimensional spaces.

Scale is constantly called into question and inside becomes outside.  Mushrooms the size of trees dominate Manoeuver, while in others furniture towers over human figures or vice-versa. Figuration disrupts abstraction as we see so often in the Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles series of paintings in which there is always a contrast between the sky and the land, one of which is conveyed as a passage of abstract painting that echoes Gerhard Richter while the other is represented naturalistically.  A dramatic example of this device can be found in Armored Car which is divided into four zones – a lonely traveler in the lowest zone, a band of clouds in the next followed by a range of mountains and a cheerful checkered sky into which a tiny lamp hangs from the top edge of the canvas.

Mushrooms, manikins and other low-life characters also meet high culture as GAMA has a strong attachment to a broad cross-section of Western Old Master and Nineteenth century painting.  The attentive viewer has no trouble in identifying references to Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Courbet among many others in these quirky interiors.  Not surprisingly, German Romanticism is very much in evidence. Caspar David Friedrich’s great masterpiece The Sea of Ice (1823-24) is revived in Sacred Flame, the frozen wastes of the original parting to reveal a colorful shipwreck in the bottom right-hand corner of the painting.

All of this might be too much to take were it not for the fact that GAMA’s erudition is only one component of his thoroughly enchanting update of the world of the imagination that used to prevail before the universal acceptance of computerized fantasy.  He is no longer a nomad but he offers insights into the world of the imagination that his previously unfettered way of life offered in abundance.

前波画廊诚挚地宣布将于2015年3月7日起举办展览《GAMA:诸王的花谷》。GAMA 1977年出生于内蒙古,目前生活和工作于柏林。他出生在一个随着季节变化而每四个月迁移的游牧民族。他的姑婆是一位德高望重的萨满,其与超自然界沟通的能力对年幼时期的GAMA产生了深远影响。后来他在中央美术学院学习了油画。但正统的学术派专业训练并没有满足他,他开始通过书籍研究欧洲早期艺术大师的作品,并揣摩乔治·巴塞利兹、西格马·波尔克以及格哈德·里希特等德国当代艺术家的创作。





电子虚拟幻想被当今社会普遍接受,而GAMA的作品则是对电子时代之前所盛行的童话幻想的一种更新, 他的博学也仅是其艺术创作的一个组成部分。他已经不再是一个游牧人,然而从其作品中,我们可以看到儿时无拘无束的生活给予他的那个丰富的幻想世界。

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