One of China’s most distinguished artists, resident in Paris since 1986, Ma Desheng was a founder member of the progressive Stars Group which included fellow artists Huang Rui, Wang Keping, Qu Leilei and Ai Weiwei.
In Selected Works 1978–2013 we experience a broad overview of his paintings including his sensuous ink works from the late 1970s as well as his large and almost overwhelming series of paintings of rocks from 2007-2012 and his more recent nudes. A selection of his boldly graphic, monochromatic woodblock prints from the late 70s-early 80s, a set of which were recently acquired by the British Museum, will also feature in the show.
As the filmmaker and contributing editor to ArtAsiaPacific, Andrew Cohen, writes in his essay prefacing the specially produced 84 page catalogue that accompanies the exhibition:
Cool and calm on the outside, fiery-spirited on the inside, the radical Beijing-born artist Ma Desheng is as gentle a man as his paintings of rocks are hard edged. Despite his relaxed exterior, Ma’s art is forged through decades of oppression and strenuous commitment to freedom of expression. Like his rocks, beneath the smooth surface simmer passion and pent-up emotions that belie a rebellious nature ready to explode.