McArthur Binion in Hong Kong
Why We Recommend it
Appreciate up-close new works by the 72-year-old American artist whose deceptively simple practice incorporates interwoven personal memories with historical recollections of America.
Throughout his fifty-year practice of assemblage painting, Binion has continually defied classification as an artist. He resists rigid categorisations of “abstraction” and “minimalism”, terms used by critics on his large-scale paintings.
In the 1970’s, Binion immersed himself within the renowned downtown New York art scene — working among artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mary Boone, and Sol LeWitt. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, his style evolved from more gestural abstraction to include increasingly pared-down, colourful, and geometric abstraction. His signature insertion of narrative and personal history differentiates his work from the more reductive Minimalist practices of other artists and continues to do so today. In his DNA series, previously shown in Massimo De Carlo London, the artist blends private documents, such as negatives of his birth certificate (which references the situation of many that, like him, were born in rural communities and whose births were never recorded) and hand written pages of his old phone books are covered with layers of painted coloured grids, that conceal and at the same time introduce the narration element of his practice.
Such use of personal documents asserts Binion’s own existence, whereas the layers of paint encompass the artists’ experience with authority and the art world in America. Insofar, the intricate surfaces of the canvases become abstract shapes and motives: the artist’s archival belongings, that can only be seen when in very close physical proximity to the canvas, are transformed by the paintbrush into weightily textured patterns and reflect the importance of the influence of modernism in Binion’s practice.
The exhibition features his newest series — Hand:Work:II paintings. An emblem for his personal touch upon the work, the gesture of the hand hints at the time-consuming and laborious nature of his practice.
The show is simultaneously held with Lehmann Maupin from 22 May to 6 July 2019 at Lehmann Maupin, 4/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central.
Photo courtesy Binion and Massimo De Carlo.