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Book Launch and Exhibit: Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (2010)

Paul Kasmin (27th Street)
511 West 27th Street, 212-563-4474
November 17 - December 23, 2011
Reception: Thursday, November 17, 6 - 8 PM
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Paul Kasmin Gallery Inaugurates Its New Gallery Space at 515 West 27th Street, New York

Book Launch for Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals on November 17th, 2011

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 Thursday, November 17th from 6 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, 10×11 inches.

On view for the first time, the gold set of Ai Weiwei’s bronze sculptures, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (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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