Ai Weiwei

*1957 in Beijing, China

Ai Weiwei, Fur 5, 1991, cow fur with wooden frame (lacquered), 30 x 62 cm, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen, loan of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation © Ai Weiwei / Photo: Simon Vogel & Ai Weiwei, Fur 1, 1991, cow fur with wooden frame (lacquered), 29 x 45 cm, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst Aachen, loan of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation © Ai Weiwei / Photo: Simon Vogel

With a Dadaist flair for parody, Ai Weiwei, today one of the world’s best-known artistic personalities, has created a landscape representation that is close to nature in the truest sense of the word by stretching out cowhide, the pattern of which evokes associations with hilly landscapes or earth formations. The two objects Fell 1 and Fell 5 were created in 1991 in New York, where Ai lived for ten years from 1983. There he left painting behind, found his unmistakable form of artistic expression via Marcel Duchamp and the Ready Made, Pop Art and Conceptual Art. One might read the two works as a bow to leather, a precious material in China at the time, or as a homage to “Cattle Country” in the USA. At the same time, they evoke the landscape of his childhood, which he spent in the Gobi Desert in northwest China, where his family lived in exile.

MG