Lisson Gallery

Reviews of Yu Hong's 'Another One Bites the Dust' in Venice, presented by The Guggenheim Museum's Asian Art Initiative

26 April 2024

The Guggenheim Museum's Asian Art Initiative presents Yu Hong: Another One Bites the Dust, running alongside the 60th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia from April 20 to November 24, 2024. Curated by Dr. Alexandra Munroe, the exhibition showcases Yu Hong's new figurative and narrative paintings, responding to the architectural and cultural context of the Chiesetta della Misericordia. These paintings challenge art-historical conventions, embodying a supernatural realism that disrupts perceptions of contemporary life. Borrowing images from the internet and social media, Yu Hong depicts individuals, predominantly women and children, in poses of mental anguish or impending danger against a gold background. The works explore themes of human existence, from birth to death, and critique societal norms and political realities.

The New York Times' critic at large, Jason Farago, writes:

Everywhere around you in Venice are murals and altarpieces depicting the biggest themes of them all — life, death, and life everlasting — but only a few contemporary artists are playing for stakes as high as Titian or Veronese did five centuries ago. One who is: the Chinese painter Yu Hong, exhibiting in a small church in the city’s quieter north, whose 10-panel polyptych on thickly smeared gold grounds channels human life into a raw cycle of pain and glory.

Babies are scrunched into plastic bathtubs, girls pretzel themselves into backbends and women lie tangled in what looks like plastic wrap; by the last panel, we see a stockpile of bare feet, perhaps of the corpses our contortionists have become. They writhe and bend like Tintoretto’s acrobatic saints, but there is no ecstasy here, and no escape from the physical facts of flesh and paint. Yu is doing what we used to expect all art to do; she is showing us how to live.

Read more by Jason Farago in The New York Times here.

The exhibition has been also been covered by publications internationally, including:

ARTnews, China
Female gaze is an instinct

The Art Newspaper
The most spectacular locations to visit at this year’s Venice Biennale

Artnet News
Chinese Artist Yu Hong Paints the Eternal Struggles of Life and Death in Her Beijing Studio

Plaster Magazine
Yu Hong brings supernatural realism to Venice

Yu Hong on “Another One Bites the Dust”

Yu Hong's Subjects Are Born to Die in Venice Church

ArtAsia Pacific
On the Verge

The Times
Venice Biennale 2024 review — barmy, bizarre and beautiful

"Yu Hong: Another One Bites the Dust" at Chiesetta della Misericordia in Venice

Guide to the 60th Venice Biennale: Solo and Group Exhibitions

Harper’s Bazaar Art China

Harper’s Bazaar
Katy Hessel's guide to the 2024 Venice Biennale

Stop Talking About Gender with Female Artists

Marie Claire China
Yu Hong next to the magnolia flower

Beyond Venice Biennale: 7 exhibitions by Asian artists to see in Italy this summer

Galerie Magazine
10 Must-See Exhibitions During the 2024 Venice Biennale

Yu Hong: Another One Bites the Dust at Chiesetta della Misericordia, Cannaregio, Venice is a special off-site exhibition presented by the Asian Art Initiative of the Guggenheim Museum, New York. The show runs from 20 April – 24 November 2024. You can read more here.

Reviews of Yu Hong's 'Another One Bites the Dust' in Venice, presented by The Guggenheim Museum's Asian Art Initiative
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