Russell Young's Superstar
Modern Art Museum, Shanghai
27 October 2018– 06 January 2019
Superstar showcases Young’s most significant series spanning the past two decades, from Pig Portraits (2003) and Fame + Shame (2005) to American Landscapes (2016) and Femme Fatale (2017) alongside his newest series, West (2018) and Iconic (2018). Over the years, Young has honed and mastered his technique, conjuring up powerful images, whilst never losing the spontaneity and rawness he is famous for.
Some of the artists best-know works will be on display including Superstar Marilyn and Muhammad Ali, alongside more radical works, The Fight of the Paso del Mar and Helter Skelter, demonstrating the artist’s interest in the power of abstraction, where process and material viscerally take over from the subject.
The exhibition fully explores how Young re-contextualises popular culture from the second half of the twentieth century to today. His move to America in the early 1990s drove his fascination with the power of images to define popular culture. This has resulted in a body of work, that boldly projects Young’s commanding and unapologetic vision of modern life and the people and events that have shaped it. The exhibition features a cast of characters that define the building blocks of Western counterculture while firmly embracing a cultural shift toward the East and its growing influence on the world stage.
Alongside Young’s work, Superstar immerses the public into Young’s world, through interactive features including an 18 metre long cultural timeline of 1960s America, a sound tunnel, film projections of stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley and a video demonstrating the artist’s screen printing process. There is also a selfie booth where visitors are visually transformed into a ‘Russell Young’. Later on in the exhibition, they will encounter their own image on the gallery wall, experiencing their own fifteen minutes of fame and becoming a part of Young’s critique of popular culture. An accompanying catalogue has been published by Modern Art Museum, Shanghai, with biographical information and details of Young’s major series.
Based in the all-embracing metropolis of Shanghai, Modern Art Museum (MAM) focuses on diversity, equality, exchange and education. The museum hosts classic art from the West and the East, as well as contemporary Asian art and pioneering work across creative disciplines.