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The Door Is Always Open, Gary Baseman’s Solo Exhibition

December 5, 2014 to March 5, 2015
Shanghai chi K11 art museum
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Pop-surrealist artist Gary Baseman (1960, LA)’s solo exhibition The Door is Always Open explores the influences of the artist’s Jewish family heritage and American popular culture in his exuberant, boundary-defying art. Baseman has explored both the pop and the macabre through a body of work that he describes as “pervasive”, replete with paintings, editorial illustrations, art performances, vinyl toys, TV animation and board games.


The artist’s father inspired the title of the exhibition with the words he often spoke to his son in a thick Yiddish accent: “Gary, the door is always open”. In the exhibition, the phrase has come to stand for the connection between imagination and creativity and the influence of personal history and heritage on artistic creation. Demonic clowns, cute monsters and psychedelic dolls pulled from his childhood subconscious populate Baseman’s fantasy worlds. His work also contains elements of Marc Chagall, Walt Disney and Takashi Murakami.


K11 Art Mall hopes that this exhibition will bring a question to young Chinese artists and visitors about the distinctions between high and low art, fine and folk art and popular and high-art culture which will inspire them to explore and critique the current distinctions of art to open up the boundaries.


To enable the public to learn more about the artwork on display, K11 Art Mall will also hold a series of academic symposiums, as well as performances and workshops on underground art in modern China during the exhibition.