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Jia Aili

Jia Aili, The Wasteland, 2007 Oil on canvas, 105 ⅛ × 78 ¾ inches (267 × 200 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, The Wasteland, 2007

Oil on canvas, 105 ⅛ × 78 ¾ inches (267 × 200 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2008 Mixed media, in 3 parts, overall: 118 ⅛ × 236 ¼ inches (300 × 600 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2008

Mixed media, in 3 parts, overall: 118 ⅛ × 236 ¼ inches (300 × 600 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2010 Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 78 ¾ × 419 ½ inches (200 × 1065.5 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2010

Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 78 ¾ × 419 ½ inches (200 × 1065.5 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Divine State, 2011–12 Oil on canvas, 118 ⅛ × 157 ½ inches (300 × 400 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Divine State, 2011–12

Oil on canvas, 118 ⅛ × 157 ½ inches (300 × 400 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2012 Oil on canvas, 132 ¾ × 114 ¼ inches (337 × 290 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2012

Oil on canvas, 132 ¾ × 114 ¼ inches (337 × 290 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2012 Oil on canvas, 91 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches (233 × 200 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2012

Oil on canvas, 91 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches (233 × 200 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, The Memory of North Liucao Island I, 2013–14 Oil on canvas, 94 ½ × 196 ⅞ inches (240 × 500 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, The Memory of North Liucao Island I, 2013–14

Oil on canvas, 94 ½ × 196 ⅞ inches (240 × 500 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2015 Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2015

Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2016 Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 31 ½ inches (100 × 80 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Untitled, 2016

Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 31 ½ inches (100 × 80 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Geometry in the Sky, 2017 Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Geometry in the Sky, 2017

Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Geometry in the Sky, 2018 Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, Geometry in the Sky, 2018

Oil on canvas, 106 ⅜ × 82 ¾ inches (270 × 210 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, The Cap Donning Man, 2018 Oil on canvas, 103 ⅝ × 80 inches (263 × 203 cm)© Jia Aili Studio

Jia Aili, The Cap Donning Man, 2018

Oil on canvas, 103 ⅝ × 80 inches (263 × 203 cm)
© Jia Aili Studio

About

Art is the light of the spirit. It enlightens the dust of the mind.
—Jia Aili

Jia Aili, a pioneering member of a new generation of Chinese artists, is best known for works embodying at once art historical knowledge and a drive to challenge painting’s existing forms and boundaries. Jia’s aim in his early work was to reflect a correspondence between the vulnerability of individuals and shifts in society as a whole. He has pursued and developed this idea through a wide-ranging practice variously incorporating abstraction, portraiture, fantastic imagery, scenes from daily life, and cultural motifs, skillfully blending past, present, and future.

Jia was born in Dandong in Northeast China in 1979. His childhood and teenage years witnessed the radical transformation of the country. He graduated from the Second Studio (New Representationalism) of the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang Tiexi District in 2004, and subsequently taught there from 2005 to 2007. After the teaching engagement, Jia moved to Black Bridge Village in Beijing, and his breakout solo exhibition The Wasteland opened in the same year, launching him onto the international scene.

In 2008, the year in which Beijing hosted the Olympic Games, Jia began to work on We Are from the Century (2008–11). This epic painting demonstrates his mastery of Socialist Realist technique and deep knowledge of the old masters, including the use of layers of thin, translucent color to generate an active dialogue between light and shadow, shape and space. The looser aspects of Jia’s brushwork make reference to the talismanic imagery of ancient Chinese Taoist drawings, serving his aim of exploring self-analysis in the context of the shared human condition. In subsequent works, Jia brings a fluid naturalism to bear, depicting sites of uncanny believability and evoking atmospheres of emotional heft. Characterizing his process as fundamentally intuitive, Jia applies formal logic to the summoning of a transcendent vision.

Over the past decade, Jia has continued to work at monumental scale, expanding on the dark, theatrical look of his earlier canvases through subtler and more complex coloration and structure. The evolution of his practice can be traced through a sequence of exhibitions at venues including the Singapore Art Museum (2012); Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2015); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2017); and Gagosian, New York (2019). Among the twenty-nine paintings featured in the last of these was the four-panel Sonatine (2019), in which hard-edge polyhedrons drift across transcendent scenes connected by themes of disintegration, reflecting the artist’s latest breakthrough as a painter. Since 2018, Jia has maintained a studio in New York.

During the past few years, after having visited China’s borders with North Korea, Russia, and Mongolia, along parts of the Ussuri and Amur Rivers, and within the Greater Khingan Range, Jia began a series of mountain paintings. These works augment his inquiries into historical and literary themes with the properties of real locations, while acknowledging the Romantic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Some of the canvases are conventionally framed; still others are shown under glass inscribed with improvised linear designs. These could be read as spiritual manifestations of the mountain’s ambiguity, and of the intersection of realism and abstraction. A third group incorporates larger, freestanding metal-and-glass frames that turn the works into site-specific installations. This series represents a departure from Jia’s previous style, but retains and expands its sense of transformation and reverie, again connecting the human experience to nature at large.

Jia Aili

Photo: Zelong Chen © Jia Aili Studio

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Gerhard Richter; © Amoako Boafo; © Richard Prince; © 2022 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Art Fair

Art Basel Miami Beach 2022

December 1–3, 2022, Booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to present a selection of modern and contemporary works at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Returning to Miami for the fair’s twentieth anniversary, the gallery is honored to have participated each year the fair has been held.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Gerhard Richter; © Amoako Boafo; © Richard Prince; © 2022 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Georg Baselitz, No, ja, 2020 © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Art Fair

ART021 Shanghai 2021

November 13–14, 2021, booth C02
Shanghai Exhibition Center
www.art021.org

Gagosian is pleased to participate in ART021 Shanghai 2021. The gallery will feature works by artists including Georg BaselitzDan ColenEdmund de WaalRoe EthridgeUrs FischerKatharina GrosseSimon HantaïDamien HirstJia AiliHarmony Korine, Takashi Murakami (as an individual artist and in collaboration with Virgil Abloh), Rudolf StingelSpencer Sweeney, and Tatiana Trouvé

To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com.

Georg Baselitz, No, ja, 2020 © Georg Baselitz. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Photo: Liiibing

Artist Spotlight

Jia Aili

May 26–June 1, 2021

A pioneering member of a new generation of Chinese artists, Jia Aili creates dynamic paintings that at once emerge from and challenge art historical conventions in the context of a rapidly changing world. In his wide-ranging practice, which incorporates abstraction, portraiture, fantastic imagery, and scenes from daily life, he reflects on the dramatic modernization of society while probing the vulnerabilities of the existential human condition. For Jia, new meaning emerges out of both this interweaving of disparate narratives and the reconsideration of complex knowledge systems.

Photo: Liiibing

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Museum Exhibitions

Hao Liang, Eight Views of Xiaoxiang—Snowscape, 2014–15 © Hao Liang. Photo: courtesy UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

On View

Duration
Chinese Art in Transformation

Opened September 25, 2020
Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing
www.msam.cn

Duration: Chinese Art in Transformation attempts to show how every moment that stretches is an absorption of the past, and the endless possibilities of the future are based on the past and the present. The exhibition presents painting, sculpture, installation, video, animation, and more from the 1970s to the present. Work by Hao Liang, Jia Aili, and Zeng Fanzhi is included.

Hao Liang, Eight Views of Xiaoxiang—Snowscape, 2014–15 © Hao Liang. Photo: courtesy UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

Jia Aili, Midday, 2021 (detail) © Jia Aili Studio. Photo: Yang Chao Studio 

Closed

Jia Aili
Harsh

November 10, 2021–May 29, 2022
Tank Shanghai
www.tankshanghai.com

This major exhibition, curated by Shen Qilan, presents four large-scale paintings by Jia Aili that reflect a correspondence between the vulnerability of individuals and shifts in society as a whole. Harsh (2021), the centerpiece created specifically for this exhibition, is Jia’s largest painting to date. The other three works featured—Hermit from the Planet (2015–16), Sonatine (2019–21), and Midday (2021)—likewise address social issues while revealing the artist’s continual innovations in the medium of painting.

Jia Aili, Midday, 2021 (detail) © Jia Aili Studio. Photo: Yang Chao Studio 

Jia Aili, Mountain and Line, 2020 © Jia Aili

Closed

On Sabbatical

July 25–September 6, 2020
West Bund Museum, Shanghai
www.wbmshanghai.com

The exhibition includes more than a dozen works that nine contemporary Chinese artists created over the course of their respective “sabbaticals” during the covid-19 outbreak in an attempt to convey their unique perspectives on the world, and to evoke a sense of affinity, solace, resonance, and reflection. Work by Jia Aili and Hao Liang is included.

Jia Aili, Mountain and Line, 2020 © Jia Aili

Installation view, Jia Aili, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain, March 17–June 18, 2017. Artwork © Jia Aili Studio

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Jia Aili

March 17–June 18, 2017
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain
cacmalaga.eu

Juxtaposing contemporary elements with a traditional figurative style, Jia Aili’s postapocalyptic landscapes reflect the radical changes that have transpired in Chinese society in recent years. Awash in a palette of blacks, grays, and blues, the twenty-eight paintings in this exhibition depict lost individuals wandering in environments transformed by different technological advances, wars, and bombings, inviting viewers to reflect on the role played by human beings on this planet.

Installation view, Jia Aili, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain, March 17–June 18, 2017. Artwork © Jia Aili Studio

See all Museum Exhibitions for Jia Aili