Forms of Time. Tong Yanrunan and Giorgio Morandi

Galleria d’Arte Maggiore

Jun. 8, 2024 - Sep. 2, 2017

via D'Azeglio
Bologna, Italy, 40123
Phone +33 (0)1 45 48 43 28

Forms of Time. Tong Yanrunan and Giorgio Morandi at the GAM
curated by Flaminio Gualdoni

Tong Yanrunan, already famous in China and present in some of the most important international museums, has a new exhibition at Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M. in Bologna, Italy. “Forms of Time. Tong Yanrunan and Giorgio Morandi” represents a new and important stage in the project that the Chinese artist has been dedicating to the tradition of portrait for 19 years. Slowness of execution is an integral part of his work. His dialogue with the subject resembles almost a performance, in contrast to the titles of the paintings that call to mind the number codes of pictures taken by a digital camera.
Franco Calarota, the founder of GAM, discovered the “forms of time” in the paintings by comparing the works of the two artists across time, space, and region. After more than three years of preparation, ten important and rare works by Giorgio Morandi are now displayed in the gallery together with the artworks by Tong Yanrunan, accompanied by a catalogue. Morandi, one of the most admired Italian painters of the twentieth century, is one of the Modern masters that Tong loves. He sees various points of similarities between his own portraits and Morandi’s relationship with his still lives. As Flaminio Gualdoni, the curator of exhibition, writes in the exhibition catalogue: ”The artist’s principal work lies in delineating the premise of the action, in unravelling ambiguities, conventions, the apparatus of the pretentious that is incrusted in the idea itself of the portrait, turning it into a representative prejudice and an ambiguous idee recue. Tong Yanrunan’s expressive tension lingers over the canvas, as the undisputed master, with the ambition (that of a lifetime) of distilling into the painting not a face, but the face.”

As a child, Tong Yanrunan (1977, Jiujiang, China) studied painting and calligraphy with some of the most renowned artists and Chinese calligraphers. He successfully completed his studies at China Academy of Arts and Centre of Art Phenomenology Research CAA, where he is an associate professor now. Standing out among numerous exhibitions are those at the Grand Palais in Paris, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Among the solo exhibitions most notable were those at the Bonn Contemporary Museum and at the Osage Gallery of Singapore. His works can be found in some of the most important private and public collections, such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the National Art Museum of China, and the China Arts Museum.

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