Circle of Animals

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Book cover. Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals and the Garden of Brightness , 2011 © Courtesy of the artist & Paul Kasmin Gallery 515 West 27th Street
Circle of Animals

515 West 27th Street
10001 New York
November 17th, 2011 - December 23rd, 2011
Opening: November 17th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

(212) 563.4474
Tue-Sat 10-6
Book, sculpture


Paul Kasmin Gallery announces the opening of its second gallery space in Chelsea, located at 515 West 27th Street. Designed by architect Markus Dochantschi of studioMDA, the 2500 square-foot, sky-lit gallery space has a glass façade that allows pedestrians to see inside the gallery from the street.

On November 17th from 6pm to 8pm, the new gallery opens with a book launch for Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals, edited by Susan Delson and published by Prestel in association with AW Asia. It includes texts by Paola Dematte, Colin Jones, Kristina Kleutghen, Lark E. Mason, Charles Merewether, Marco Musillo, Karen Smith, and Joe-Hynn Yan. It is 222 pages with 180 illustrations, 165 of which are in color. Hardcover, 10 x 11 inches.

On view for the first time, the gold set of Ai Weiwei’s bronze sculptures, Zodiac Heads (2010), will be shown from November 17th through December 23rd, 2011 in conjunction with the book launch. The twelve animal heads, each depicting a segment of the ancient Chinese zodiac, are based on a complex fountain and clock system that was built for an imperial retreat in 18th century China. Located at the Old Summer Palace just outside Beijing, the original fountain-clock was designed by two European Jesuits at the behest of Emperor Qianlong. When the retreat was looted by European soldiers, the bronze animal heads were stolen and only seven of the twelve are known to survive. Ai Weiwei has re-interpreted these objects, pursuing his ongoing exploration of the “fake” and the copy of the original, as well as the repatriation of cultural heritage. Ai Weiwei’s larger bronze set of Zodiac Heads is on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through February 12th, 2012.

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