Zhang Xiaogang

Dez 29, 2012


As an artist believing in the power of drawing, Zhang Xiaogang sticks to painting’s narrative quality and tries almost single-mindedly to bring historical continuity of art to the contemporary art scene.

Reconstructing and juxtaposing typical images of history and reality, collective and private memories, Zhang Xiaogang brings history and memory to the present. Despite the fact that this period of history and its experience was a regional one, the collectivistic, Utopian spirit at its base aimed to liberate man in the spirit of cosmopolitism. Also, from the pictorial level, we can establish a certain connection between Chuck Close, Gerhard Richter and Zhang Xiaogang, which enriches the depth of the world of imagery. Close’s paintings are a logical, material and physical analysis of portraits; Richter’s paintings are a philosophy of images; while Zhang’s paintings are about the historic issues of human kind. Among these images are the birthmark-like prints and bloodlines in ‘Big Family Series’, the colored shades on the face and tear stains under the eyes in ‘Amnesia and Memory Series’, the electric wires, lamp cords, ink and pens in ‘In-Out Series’, the lines representing blood ties in “Green Wall Series” and the parallel tracks in ‘Train Window Series’. All these images extend the cultural historical memory contained in the artist’s self-exploration which is exuberant with a mildness and tenderness that are unmistakably Zhang’s. Moreover, they could also be understood as a continued personalized expression of a collective memory. It is exactly Zhang’s primitive expression and adherence to the traditional culture that brings back our belief in and worship of the narrative quality of painting. What Zhang tries to do through painting is no less than reconstructing “humans” and reinvigorating faith in an era overflowing with concepts such as “Super Flat” and “Cool”.

Pace Gallery

December 13th, 2012 – February 28th, 2013
798 Art District, No.2, Jiuxiangqiao Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing 100015