About the fair
25-28 January, 2024
Palexpo – Genève Route François-Peyrot 30 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex
Geneva—Pearl Lam Galleries is delighted to announce its inaugural participation in artgenève. On view is a selection of artworks by a variety of artists from China, Nigeria, Slovakia, the UK, and USA, showcasing the depth of the gallery’s aesthetics. Exhibiting artists include Alimi Adewale (b. 1974, Nigeria), Golnaz Fathi (b. 1972, Iran), Maggi Hambling (b. 1945, UK), Channing Hansen (b. 1972, USA), Michal Korman (b. 1987, Slovakia), Antony Micallef (b. 1975, UK), Zanele Muholi (b. 1972, South Africa), Babajide Olatunji (b. 1989, Nigeria), Anya Paintsil (b. 1993, UK), Deborah Segun (b. 1994, Nigeria), Su Xiaobai (b. 1949, China), Zhu Jinshi (b. 1954, China), and Zhu Peihong (b. 1987, China).
Alimi Adewale, a Nigerian artist, embarks on a creative journey that revolves around unravelling the profound beauty and cultural tapestry that defines the African experience. On view is his latest series titled Figurative Fusion, which is an exploration of the intersection between traditional realism and contemporary abstraction in the realm of figurative painting. It is a testament to the artist’s ability to harmonise diverse artistic elements, offering a fresh perspective on the expressive potential of the human figure in contemporary art.
Golnaz Fathi was fascinated by the expressive potential of traditional Persian calligraphic forms and immersed herself in a sustained six-year study of traditional calligraphy. She became one of only a tiny handful of women trained to the highest level within that discipline. She investigated ever more abstract forms of representation, using modern media to aid these explorations, while still basing her work on fundamental calligraphic practices and techniques. The introduction of bold swatches of colour further emphasised her transition from a codified system based on prescriptive rules to an alternative idiom that gave precedence to her imaginative modes of subjective expression.
Maggi Hambling is a celebrated contemporary painter and sculptor whose work continues to challenge and seduce. Pearl Lam Galleries will present a painting from Hambling’s celebrated Wall of Water series. Works from this series have been exhibited at the National Gallery, London; The Hermitage, St Peterburg, Russia; and CAFA, Beijing. The Met in New York acquired a Wall of Water painting last year. The series was inspired by the challenging storm surge of the sea crashing against the seawall close to the artist’s Suffolk studio and reflects the power of nature and the impermanent nature of existence. Hambling approaches her subjects with an intensity that constantly reaffirms her passion for life.
Channing Hansen is a polymath, simultaneously pursuing interests in craft, science, and technology in his work. His large hand-knitted textiles are mounted on wooden stretchers and feature vibrant, abstract forms that undulate across their web-like surfaces. An extremely labour-intensive process, the artist skirts, washes, dyes, blends, and spins the wool himself. Hansen was born in 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA, where he continues to live and work.
For a few years now, Michal Korman has dedicated his focus and found inspiration in the world of plants. The beauty of flowers, gardens, and the surrounding nature fills him with happiness, which he translates onto the canvas using flat solid oil paint chunks. These chunks serve as both ornaments and motifs, enhancing and disrupting their presence within the composition. What matters most to him is capturing the excitement in the viewer’s eye. The artist currently lives and works in Paris.
Described as a modern expressionist, Antony Micallef roots his work in social commentary and self-examination. Known for his visually charged figure paintings, he uses oil paint in a ground-breaking way and can sculpt and form the paint to reconfigure the parameters of what an oil painting can be. Combined with his impasto and layering techniques, Constructing Auras No. 12 is pushed to its extreme and blurs our reading of painting and sculpture.
Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and photographer. Presented as a photographic archive is a collection of self-portraits from the Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Dark Lioness) series that the artist has been working on since 2012. These autobiographic and highly personal portraits express, in Muholi’s own words, “the journey, self-image, and possibilities of a black person in today’s global society.” A selection of paintings and beadwork related to the photographs will also be on view to provide a broader perspective for understanding the artist’s multifaceted art practice.
Babajide Olatunji, a self-taught artist originally from Nigeria but based in London, will be showcasing his hyperrealist pastel and acrylic portraits from his series Tribal Marks. This collection delves into the traditional practice of facial scarification, which has been historically used by rural ethnic tribes in Nigeria for identification and caste classification purposes. Although Olatunji’s subjects are fictional, he skilfully combines facial features from various individuals he has encountered in his everyday life.
Anya Paintsil is a London-based textile artist of Welsh and Ghanaian descent. Combining traditional hand rug-making techniques with Afro hairstyling methods, Paintsil’s practice is largely autobiographical, taking inspiration from her childhood, family stories, and Welsh and Ghanaian mythologies, while exploring identity and gendered labour and seeking to promote artistic practices historically devalued due to their associations with femininity and other marginalised groups.
Deborah Segun’s paintings can be described as a fusion of Cubism and abstraction. She embraces a playful and purist approach, prioritising form over intricate details, and explores diverse artistic mediums. Her works primarily revolve around figurative representations, with a particular emphasis on portraiture. The inspiration for her creations derives from her personal experiences as a woman as well as her observations of the spaces she occupies.
Su Xiaobai has developed a sensuous yet rigorous art that defies classification, and yet its own chosen medium, lacquer, is steeped in Chinese history. Su’s works are both hedonistic and mystical, defiantly sculptural while exquisitely painted. Ranging from shell-like finishes to sensuous, curved profiles and abraded textures, they exist entirely on their own terms, possessing their history, character, and independent existence. Rather than depict other objects, his art engages with the idea of being itself. At its centre, Su’s work uses the visual language and context of art to embody issues that are both philosophical and, at an everyday human level, universal.
Zhu Jinshi, an influential figure in the realm of Chinese abstract and installation art, crafted The Era of Drifting Away during the autumn and winter seasons of 2022. This masterpiece stands as a unique diptych artwork, measuring 2 metres by 4 metres in size. The painting came into being amidst the tumultuous outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China—a period characterised by fear, uncertainty, and an indeterminate future. Nonetheless, it is precisely during such challenging times that people yearn for confidence and bravery. Hence, despite the somewhat melancholic name of the artwork, its imagery evokes a refreshing spring breeze, replete with vibrant colours, audacious yet delicate brushstrokes, and a harmonious interplay of emptiness and solidity. The piece encapsulates the ebb and flow of life’s dramatic fluctuations, embracing both peaks and valleys.
Zhu Peihong was born in Shanghai in 1987. His work is inspired by his visual memory of the city of Shanghai. Growing focuses on dots, lines, and colour patches with the strokes overlapping and covering each other. The paint slowly drips and spreads, solidifies, and stops, repeatedly until these fragmented traces, reaching an internal order, organically connect and construct the conscious cyberspace perceived by the artist’s mind like a mental landscape of a utopia in between reality and virtuality.