Ben Brown Fine Arts is pleased to announce its third solo exhibition in Hong Kong with internationally acclaimed artist Vik Muniz. The exhibition presents Muniz’s most recent series, Metachrome, as well as new works from his renowned Pictures of Pigment series.
Muniz is celebrated for his ingenious employment of a wide range of materials, including dust, sugar, chocolate, diamonds, caviar, toys, paper hole-punches, junk, dry pigment and magazine shreds, to reconstruct images that tap into the viewer’s subconscious visual repository and beg for further investigation. His material constructions are photographed, then either magnified or shrunken in scale, the final work of art a documentation of his conceptual and artistic processes.
Muniz’s Metachromes are constructed of sticks, stubs, fragments and dust of pastel sticks deftly arranged to re-imagine iconic paintings, forcing the viewer to move beyond the instantaneous recognition of such masterpieces and explore the materiality, chromatic range and painterly process of these works. Muniz travels through art history, from the work of the Impressionists who were pushing the limits of representation and colour at the time (Flowers, after Vincent van Gogh; Still Life with Begonias, after Paul Cézanne; and Flowers, after Odilon Redon II, all 2016) to the immense oil and acrylic works of the Abstract Expressionists (Double Scramble, after Frank Stella and No. 3/No. 13, after Mark Rothko, both 2016) where the use of colour and form was paramount to the visual and spiritual effect of the painting. Muniz challenges the viewer to look at these historic paintings through a new lens, focusing the attention on the literal creation of the works and the richness and purity of each colour used.
Muniz sees his Metachrome series as a continuation of his earlier Pictures of Pigments series, in which colour itself became the subject. In this exhibition Muniz returns to Pictures of Pigments with Monochrome, Pink-Blue-Gold, after Yves Klein (2016), an homage to Klein’s celebration of raw, synthetic pigment. The use of pure, unmixed and often toxic pigment powders in this series epitomizes the artist’s preoccupation with the ephemerality of material and composition, and also achieves a remarkably textural effect in the resultant photograph.