As its spring exhibition, M WOODS presents All Means Are Sacred, bringing together contemporary and pre-contemporary works in a focused examination of reverence, energy, and the spirit. Drawn predominately from the M WOODS collection and curated by museum founder Wanwan Lei, the exhibition confronts the means by which art seeks to transcend, often in unconventional ways, the materials and conditions of its making.
Spanning the entire museum, All Means Are Sacred will feature the work of artists Ouyang Chun, Raoul De Keyser, Olafur Eliasson, Charles Harlan, Giorgio Morandi, and Guido van der Werve alongside anonymous Indian Tantric drawings, a Northern Renaissance painting by a follower of Hieronymous Bosch, and ancient Chinese stone carvings. Time and media are collapsed within this contemplative selection, the works– religious and secular alike– unified by their earnest ambition to overthrow ordinary modes of experiencing art to communicate a spiritual truth.
Guido van der Werve’s film The Day I Didn’t Turn with the World (2007) documents the artist’s journey to the axis of the earth at the North Pole. For 24 hours, the artist stands in a single spot, turning incrementally against the natural movement of the planet and therefore opting out of a universal human act, in a physically demanding quest to go beyond daily human limitations. In Olafur Eliasson’s Attraction (2015), a meteorite found in South America is suspended within a magnetic field. Tranquil and mysterious, the meteorite defies gravity, drawing attention to the invisible forces that may be at play around us.
The exhibition takes its title from Wassily Kandinsky’s text Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) in which the artist asserts the legitimacy of all means of art-making that serve a work’s inner necessity. Honoring this thought, the exhibition underscores themes of transcendence and enlightenment that are central concerns of the M WOODS permanent collection.
Artists in the exhibition: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Raoul De Keyser, Olafur Eliasson, Follower of Hieronymous Bosch, Giorgio Griffa, Charles Harlan, Giorgio Morandi, Ouyang Chun, Herman Saftleven, Egon Schiele, Guido van der Werve, Xu Sheng, Yang Changxu, and anonymous artists