Almine Rech Shanghai is pleased to announce Man, Water, Flowers, FireMichael Hilsman's third solo exhibition with the gallery, on view through May 25, 2024.

It is tempting to take the apparent simplicity of Michael Hilsman’s paintings at face value: a green cactus reaching up into a mid-blue sky; a dog; a lemon tree; a man holding a vase of flowers. These are untroubled and untroubling motifs, we might think. Hilsman’s frankly descriptive titles – Dog in Landscape, or Man in Lemon Tree – seem to encourage this uncomplicated read.

Hilsman lives and works in Los Angeles, a city that is superficially inclined towards a lifestyle of ease and simplicity, but is in fact tenuously constructed on a network of unseen fissures – psychological, cultural, historical, and geological. It is a place that proliferates in clichés, which are themselves just simplifications based on far more complex, nuanced truths.