Simon Birch – BEN BROWN FINE ARTS – HONG KONG
Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong is pleased to announce The Inevitable, an exhibition of new paintings by renowned Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch. This is the second solo exhibition of Birch’s work to be held at the Hong Kong gallery and it will run concurrently with Art Basel Hong Kong.
Birch is celebrated for his gestural, thickly-impastoed portraits teeming with the angst and energy of his sitters. These technically precise paintings capture the dynamism of his models through broad, overlapping planes of color pulled across the canvas. Birch successfully conveys this intensity of motion in The Sky was Aquamarine, Stroked with Clouds. She Could Smell the Grass and Taste the Scent of Small, Crushed Flowers, 2014, the staggering figure seemingly shielding herself in a vortex of color and movement, her body parts becoming fractured, geometric fields of colour
While a committed figurative painter, Birch has shifted to a more abstract approach to representation in his recent work. Vertical strips have been eliminated within many of his large- scale portraits and replaced with magnified details from past paintings. This spliced arrangement offers an undulating cross section of his work, creating a more chaotic and nonfigurative impression. Red Collider Unseen Fox, 2014, reaches near abstraction with its vigorous swathes of paint expanding to the edges of the canvas, only providing a hint of a hunched figure cradling her head in her hands, a pose that has appeared more literally in past works. While the vitality of his sitters is still palpable, this stylistic transformation focuses more on the painterly process and precision of his work
About the Artist
Born in 1974 in Brighton, England, Birch has lived and worked in Hong Kong for over twenty years. He has had solo exhibitions in Beijing, Los Angeles, Miami, and Singapore and has participated in group shows at the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Birch has been awarded the prestigious Louis Vuitton Asian Art Prize and the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Birch has organized many large-scale multimedia installation projects in Hong Kong, most notably HOPE & GLORY: A Conceptual Circus (2010) and Daydreaming With…The Hong Kong Edition (2012) and is currently working on a multimedia installation in New York.
Image: SIMON BIRCH, The sky was aquamarine, stroked with clouds. She could smell the grass and taste the scent of small, crushed flowers, 2015, oil on canvas, 200 x 250 cm (78 ⅗ x 98 ⅜)
Blake Kwok, email@example.com
Opening: Wednesday, 11 March, 6-9.00 pm
Ben Brown Fine Arts
301 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street Ce
Mon – Sat 11am to 7pm