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.
The Artist Spotlight series highlights the work of individual artists for one week each month. Launched in spring 2020 as a weekly platform, the series is now in its second season and is presented as a regular part of the gallery’s programming. Each Artist Spotlight features new online content, and artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.
Artist Spotlight: Jia Aili features a new painting directly from the artist’s studio. For more information, please contact the gallery at email@example.com.
To Create a Vision: Jia Aili in Conversation with Philip Tinari
Jia Aili speaks with curator Philip Tinari about his arts education, his working process, and his desire to expand the talking points around painting.
Work in Progress
Jia Aili: In the Studio
This video presents a behind-the-scenes look at Jia Aili’s studio in Beijing. He elaborates on his in-progress works, the complexity of his compositions, as well as his philosophies of and motivations for painting.
Jia Aili: Before the Images Are Formed
Curator Shen Qilan speaks with the artist about his latest works.
Jia Aili: Human Nature
The artist speaks with the Quarterly about interrogating perceptions, questioning illusions, and the primacy of intuition.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.
Our Century, Part 1
Filmed by Jia Aili’s friend Wen Cheng, this two-part video documents the artist creating We Are from the Century (2008–11), his largest painting to date, measuring more than 19 feet high and 49 feet wide. Part 1 includes archival video footage and offers insight into Jia’s process through a look at reference images and views of the work in progress.
Still from “Jia Aili: Our Century, Part 1”
Our Century, Part 2
This video—the second segment of a two-part video documenting the production of Jia Aili’s epic painting We Are from the Century (2008–11)—includes detailed time-lapse footage showing the creation of one of the component panels, a conversation about airplanes with one of the artist’s friends, and source imagery that inspired the work.
Still from “Jia Aili: Our Century, Part 2”
Gagosian is pleased to announce the global representation of Jia Aili, one of China’s foremost contemporary artists. Born in the late 1970s, Jia has developed a practice that reflects on arts and philosophy from both East and West. While the content of his epic figurative paintings is unmistakably of his own time and cultural context, his formal virtuosity and complex layering of narrative reveal a deep and astute working knowledge of the inventions and traditions of painting from the Renaissance to the present day.
Jia Aili, Geometry in the Sky, 2017. Photo: courtesy Jia Aili Studio
Chinese Art in Transformation
Opened September 25, 2020
Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing
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.
Jia Aili, Untitled, 2011 © Jia Aili Studio. Photo: Yang Chao Studio
July 25–September 6, 2020
West Bund Museum, Shanghai
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
March 17–June 18, 2017
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain
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
May 5–July 31, 2015
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
On view at the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi, this exhibition features six works, created between 2011 and 2015, that bear witness to Jia Aili’s innovative approach to painting. Jia grew up during the period of Chinese economic modernization and his disquieting compositions express the solitude of human beings facing technological progress: the characters are innocent and fragile creatures, searching for a history through the detritus of a dystopian world.
Jia Aili, Untitled, 2011–12 © Jia Aili Studio