Ai Weiwei: Zodiac. Jeffrey Deitch. Los Angeles. Photos by EMS

(per website) Jeffrey Deitch opens his Los Angeles gallery with Zodiac, a museum-scale exhibition of new and historic works by Ai Weiwei. Along with concurrent shows at the Marciano Art Foundation and UTA Artist Space, this is the artist’s first project in Los Angeles.

The center of the space is filled by one of the artist’s most remarkable works, Stools (2013), comprised of 5,929 wooden stools from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the Republican period, gathered from villages across northern China. The accumulation of individual stools forms a 72-foot square, creating an enormous variegated surface. Very few of these stools remain in Chinese households today, but they were once a ubiquitous staple of domestic life. Each stool reveals traces of use and evokes the experience of generations of lives. Ai Weiwei admires the stools for their simple design and solid structure, a design language that remained unchanged for thousands of years. Stools was first exhibited at the Gropius Bau in Berlin in 2014, but this is the first time Ai Weiwei has seen the work exhibited in person since regaining access to his passport in 2015.

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