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Leon Xu: Wishful Thinking

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Open: Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm

Rämistrasse 37, CH-8001 Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Open: Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm


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Leon Xu: Wishful Thinking

to Sat 29 Oct 2022

Artist: Leon Xu

Rämistrasse 37, CH-8001 Zürich Leon Xu: Wishful Thinking

Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm


Mai 36 Galerie presents Wishful Thinking, a solo exhibition of 12 new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Leon Xu. The foggy, dreamlike paintings combine soft layers of airbrush and acrylic to create an offering into a world simultaneously strange and deeply familiar.

Artworks

Can you wait for me?, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
50.8 x 40.6 x 1.6 cm (20 x 16 x 5/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Joy in the morning, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
152.4 x 127 x 3.5 cm (60 x 50 x 1 3/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Shooting stars on the roof of my car, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
116.9 x 92 x 3.4 cm (46 x 36 1/4 x 1 3/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Memories exist outside of time, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
121.7 x 122.2 x 4.2 cm (47 7/8 x 48 1/8 x 1 5/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Every little kiss, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
116.8 x 91.2 x 4.3 cm (46 x 35 7/8 x 1 3/4 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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The kindest heart that forever touched mine (I miss you dearly), 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
100 x 80 x 1.8 cm (39 3/8 x 31 1/2 x 3/4 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Cuteness aggression, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
25.4 x 20.3 x 1.6 cm (10 x 8 x 5/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Met by chance, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
71.1 x 71.1 x 2 cm (28 x 28 x 3/4 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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First place, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
152.4 x 127 x 3.5 cm (60 x 50 x 1 3/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

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Moonlight on our skin, 2022

Acrylic and airbrush on canvas
117.2 x 91.4 x 3.6 cm (46 1/8 x 36 x 1 3/8 in.)
Signed & dated verso

contact gallery

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Leon Xu’s sceneries are not representations of reality but reflections of feelings and moments. In a post-impressionistic sense, the works exaggerate colors, distort perspectives, and suggest movements in search for a perceptible expression of a memory. The first-person viewpoints transport us into Leon Xu’s driving seat, observing the world through his eyes, and accessing detached fragments of his past. The misty scenes capture the overlooked beauty of urban existence, drawing attention to subtle instants which otherwise our brain is so well-trained to fade out to focus on the everyday duties. Places and situations that we frequently pass by yet could not necessarily remember or find if we tried, a sparke in the rearview mirror, the afternoon sun glitter, a neon sign shimmering at night… Leon is mindful and attentive for these “brain tingles”, as he describes them, signals that intuitively make him capture and remember a certain moment to reflect on it later by making paintings about them, for himself and to share with the world to see and feel. They trigger our memory database, searching for fractal reminiscences of moments we have lived through. Memory becomes an emotional imprint rather than a reproduction of a structured series of events.

Leon Xu’s new body of work is marked by recent experiences of vulnerability, learning and loss. Most of the scenes in the exhibitions are soft, melancholic, sentimental- they are peaceful moments of being fully present. As a Chinese born immigrant in the US, Leon describes dealing with a deeply embedded “immigrant mentality”, a compulsive mindset of restless working which requires Leon to actively learn to calm down and to establish the capacity to process feelings and incidents.

Wishful Thinking is Leon Xu’s first solo exhibition in Europe. The artist is represented by Helena Anrather in New York. Leon Xu was born in 1995 in Zongshan, China. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate in Painting from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Xu was included in Issue 134 of New American Paintings, in 2018.

Henri Gisler
36.1 Projects

Courtesy of the artist and Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich


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