Zeng Fanzhi

Dez 20, 2012

London

Zeng Fanzhi’s aesthetic restlessness epitomizes the evolution of Chinese contemporary art in the post-1989 era, grappling with local history and tradition in the face of external influence and accelerated change. Since the beginning of his career, he has presented a succession of powerfully introspective subjects, from the haunting Hospital paintings to the visceral Meat paintings that juxtapose human subjects with butchered flesh; from the enigmatic Mask paintings to candid and startling close-up portraits; from intimate, existential still-lifes to depictions of pivotal Western cultural figures such as Francis Bacon, whose psychic portraits altered the status of the human figure in twentieth century art. Charged with an underlying psychological tension, Zeng’s oeuvre reveals the place of the unconscious and the aberrant in the construction of human experience.

For the past decade, landscape has been a central focus of Zeng’s art. In highly tactile scenes, the details of representation often overlap seamlessly with qualities of abstraction, as in certain traditional Chinese aesthetic objects. Zeng’s fictitious place is at once luminous and bleak, where unearthly bursts of vivid color are trapped in snaking brambles that obstruct yet hold the gaze.

The artist says: “They are not real landscapes. They are rather about an experience of miao wu [marvellous revelation]. Miao wu constitutes a restless journey of discovery.”

Gagosian Gallery

November 29th, 2012 – January 19th, 2013
6-24 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JD
UK

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