Frieze Spotlight Section is dedicated to presenting rare solo presentations of significant but under-recognised 20th-century artists. Few artists fit that description better than Li Yuan-chia (1924-1994), one of China’s earliest pioneers of abstract and conceptual art.
To pursue his artistic vision Li had to leave Taiwan: engaging with the practices of western artists in both Italy and England, he developed a unique style combining traditional Chinese calligraphy with abstraction.
A founding member of the illustrious Ton Fan Group, and known as one of the “8 Great Outlaws”, Li rebelled against the traditional art methods and practices of Taiwan and China and became actively engaged in the International art world.
Li’s focus on the spirit of Chinese culture and philosophy, combined with an experimental aesthetic has resulted in a distinctive oeuvre, spanning painting, photography, sculpture and participatory kinetic installations.
‘The fact that Li Yuan-chia has been missed by the art establishment of so many countries suggests that they have no instruments fine enough to detect a journey such as his. He simply slips past stereotypical cultural assumptions and ideological agendas…’
To coincide with their Frieze Spotlight exhibition Richard Saltoun Gallery will simultaneously hold a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Li Yuan-chia at their gallery in Great Titchfield Street, London W1. The exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery is curated by renowned scholar Diana Yeh, and will provide a comprehensive overview of Li’s work. These exhibitions coincide with Li’s work on show in the current rehang of Tate Modern.
Richard Saltoun (press release)