Xie Lei, born 1983 in Huainan, Anhui province, China. After graduating from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, he came to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and then received his PhD (practice-based) in visual arts in 2016 from École normal supérieure and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
In Xie Lei’s paintings, animals and plants are personified and seem to acquire a personality of their own, while human characters are intimately incorporated in their environment, forming one with nature. While these environments are depicted by conventional signs, Xie Lei often eschews delineating ground from sky, proximity from depth and foreground from background, thereby deliberately confusing the viewer’s sense of time and space and disseminating a sense of ethereality into paintings that look no more like windows into a new world but as symbolist talismans facing the viewer.
His works have been exhibited in numerous public and private institutions: Collection Lambert, Avignon (FR); Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía C3A, Córdoba (ES); Casa de Velázquez,Madrid (ES); PS120, Berlin (DE); MAC VAL, Vitry-sur-Seine (FR); Langen Foundation, Neuss (DE); Musée National d’Histoire d’Immigration, Paris (FR); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dole (FR); Yishu 8 Foundation, Beijing (CN); Ricard Foundation, Paris (FR). His oeuvres feature in many public and private collections such as those of the TBA21 (Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary) Collection, the MAC VAL, the Colas Foundation, the Burger Collection, Rennie Museum in Vancouver and the X Museum in Beijing. In 2016, Xie Lei received his PhD in visual arts at Ecole Normale Supérieure and ENSBA Paris. In 2020-21, he was a resident of the Casa de Velázquez, as a member of the French Academy in Madrid.
Xie Lei currently lives and works in Paris, France.
Xie Lei, Submission III, 2023. Oil on canvas – 170 × 130 cm
(Courtesy of co-founder & collector Maxime Bureau)