Luxembourg and Dayan presents Thick Paint – an exhibition of works by Jean Fautrier, Franz West, and Zhu Jinshi

The New York gallery Luxembourg and Dayan  will present Thick Paint, a collection of works by Jean Fautrier (1898-1964), Franz West (1947-2012), and Zhu Jinshi (b 1954) this month. Despite originating from dramatically different cultures and artistic backgrounds, the three artists are united by their preoccupation with the painterly and textural qualities of impasto. The exhibition bridges a variety of post-war aesthetics, from the European Art Informel to the emergence of Chinese avant garde.

Thick Paint is centred around the works of French artist Jean Fautrier, whose works reject any form of traditional representation in favour of modelling and sculpting the painted surface. His initial incisions into painted surfaces and thick, haphazard impasto led to the development of his painterly process of Haute Pâte (“high paste”)—a combination of paint, plaster, gesso, ink, and paper used to create purely abstract works. Fautrier’s work is representative of European post-war abstraction and the Art Informel movement.

The exhibition also includes the work of Austrian artist Franz West, whose paintings and sculptures reflect a fascination with the painted surface in both two and three dimensions. Often preoccupied with the representation of space and distance, West translated abstract two dimensional shapes into three dimensional ones in his later work, creating a hybrid of painting, sculpture and furniture.

Finally, in dialogue with Fautrier and West, Thick Paint presents a series of works by Chinese contemporary artist Zhu Jinshi. Zhu carves and heaps paint onto his canvases with spatulas, resulting in paintings that take on a highly sculptural quality. Their dramatic proportions and varied surfaces reinforce Zhu’s emphasis on materiality, and also suggest a connection between abstraction and historical Chinese landscape painting.


Jean Fautrier
Le Fruit, 1947
Photo courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


Franz West
Untitled (White Curved), 1982
Photo courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan
© Franz West



Zhu Jinshi
June Siege 2 Out of control, 2013.
Courtesy of the artist’s studio
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS)

by Louise Lui

Thick Paint will run from February 28 to April 19, 2014

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