Piantare un albero

solo exhibition PIANTA UN ALBERO by American artist Li Xu

AAIE is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition PIANTA UN ALBERO by American artist Li Xu, from Friday October 7th, 2022.

The 60 works presented in Pianta un albero were created by Li Xu starting from the period immediatly following the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020. As the anxiety that accompanied the long wait for the it to fade away was perceived more and more overwhelming, through this series of works the artist attempts to reflect and perceive the logic those feelings released by the reconstruction of his own inner self in the current environment. The works exhibited convey this complexity through fragmented images, emerging from previous fragments to intervene in the artist's rigorous and clear research focused on the present.


Since the spread of Covid-19, the way we access information from the outside world has gradually become singular and homogeneous, from direct, first-person experience, we turned toward an experience mediated by cell phones, television and the Internet; the rapid development of digital images has also distanced people from each other and from the world, so that our "observation" of the latter has become indirect due to the use of electronic means. The information obtained is thus fragmented and conceptualized...The normalized, fragmented, whitewashed and edited digital images viewed through the screen are distorted and defocused, move from illusion to illusion, until they are viewed and then re-disseminated. What is the relationship exhisting between these images and the real world? The artist's works in this series reflect the thinking that lies behind these images that we are exposed to every day. These reflections are the metaphors behind the artist's pictorial research, whose the result is a short circuit of vision, tragedy, joy, meticolousness and sensuality; an interweaving of contradictory relations that have shaped and are still shaping the artist and our world of information. 

What meaning does the fragmented image actually bring to humanity? As our bodies return to the surface to reconsider the value of the world, painting becomes a blend of living matter, while images become bearers of meaning, fragments regain meaning, and their shapes become visible again.

 Almost all of Li Xu's works are created late at night, when the information observed and collected during the day begins to be automatically filtered and organized, and the images become the paintings themselves in that unreal time and illusionary state that characterize midnight when these images become the paintings themselves. In Li Xu's words: "Illusion is on the contrary more real - an abstract reality". Most of the works in this series seem to be permeated by a state of anxiety. They seem universal and timeless, encompassing past and present, order and chaos, tradition and contemporaneity, revealing the practice of painting and the side of our humanity that has been trained by digital information.


The exhibition, curated by Wang Yongxu, takes its title from Li Xu's eponymous work "Plant a Tree" and will be on display until October 31st, 2022.

Li Xu

Born in Inner Mongolia (China) in 1970, Li graduated from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts in China.Currently lives and works between Beijing and New York