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Zeng Fanzhi

Zeng Fanzhi, Haircut, 1989 Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ inches (100 × 70 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Haircut, 1989

Oil on canvas, 39 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ inches (100 × 70 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist and Model No. 2, 1989 Oil on canvas, 46 ⅛ × 32 ¾ inches (117 × 83 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist and Model No. 2, 1989

Oil on canvas, 46 ⅛ × 32 ¾ inches (117 × 83 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Hospital Triptych No. 1, 1991 Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 70 ⅞ × 181 ⅞ inches (180 × 460 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Hospital Triptych No. 1, 1991

Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 70 ⅞ × 181 ⅞ inches (180 × 460 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Man and Meat, 1993 Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 78 ¾ inches (180 × 200 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Man and Meat, 1993

Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 78 ¾ inches (180 × 200 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Mask Series No. 8, 1997 Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 78 ¾ inches (180 × 200 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Mask Series No. 8, 1997

Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 78 ¾ inches (180 × 200 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, The Death of Marat, 2001 Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 59 ⅛ inches (180 × 150 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, The Death of Marat, 2001

Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 59 ⅛ inches (180 × 150 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, We No. 9, 2002 Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 86 ⅝ × 259 ⅞ inches (220 × 660 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, We No. 9, 2002

Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 86 ⅝ × 259 ⅞ inches (220 × 660 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Portrait, 2004 Oil on canvas, 78 ¾ × 59 ⅛ inches (200 × 150 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Portrait, 2004

Oil on canvas, 78 ¾ × 59 ⅛ inches (200 × 150 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Covered Lamb, 2009 Golden silk nanmu wood, 43 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ × 21 ⅝ inches (110 × 70 × 55 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Covered Lamb, 2009

Golden silk nanmu wood, 43 ⅜ × 27 ⅝ × 21 ⅝ inches (110 × 70 × 55 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist Series Lucian Freud, 2011 Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 70 ⅞ inches (180 × 180 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist Series Lucian Freud, 2011

Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 70 ⅞ inches (180 × 180 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist Series Self-Portrait, 2011 Oil on canvas, 59 ⅛ × 39 ⅜ inches (150 × 100 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Artist Series Self-Portrait, 2011

Oil on canvas, 59 ⅛ × 39 ⅜ inches (150 × 100 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, The Christ Child, 2012 Oil on canvas, 59 × 59 inches (150 × 150 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, The Christ Child, 2012

Oil on canvas, 59 × 59 inches (150 × 150 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Jing Hu Xi Liu, 2012 Pencil on paper, 19 ¾ × 27 ⅝ inches (50 × 70 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Jing Hu Xi Liu, 2012

Pencil on paper, 19 ¾ × 27 ⅝ inches (50 × 70 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Self-Portrait, 2013 Oil on canvas, 114 ¼ × 114 ¼ inches (290 × 290 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Self-Portrait, 2013

Oil on canvas, 114 ¼ × 114 ¼ inches (290 × 290 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2015 Cast silver, 102 ⅜ × 76 × 20 ½ inches (260 × 193 × 52 cm), edition of 5© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2015

Cast silver, 102 ⅜ × 76 × 20 ½ inches (260 × 193 × 52 cm), edition of 5
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Blue, 2015 Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 157 ½ × 275 ⅝ inches (400 × 700 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Blue, 2015

Oil on canvas, in 3 parts, overall: 157 ½ × 275 ⅝ inches (400 × 700 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2015 Oil on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 78 ¾ × 315 inches (200 × 800 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Untitled, 2015

Oil on canvas, in 2 parts, overall: 78 ¾ × 315 inches (200 × 800 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Lucian Freud, 2017 Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 70 ⅞ inches (180 × 180 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Lucian Freud, 2017

Oil on canvas, 70 ⅞ × 70 ⅞ inches (180 × 180 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, 8, 2018 Oil on canvas, 47 ¼ × 47 ¼ inches (120 × 120 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, 8, 2018

Oil on canvas, 47 ¼ × 47 ¼ inches (120 × 120 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

About

Zeng Fanzhi’s visually and historically complex paintings reflect his bold experimentation with, and fusion of, Eastern and Western artistic traditions.

Born and raised in Wuhan, China, Zeng graduated from the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Wuhan, in 1991. From the nineteenth century until the 1990s, Wuhan was one of China’s most prosperous cities and witness to a collision of Western and Eastern cultures. During his youth Zeng was inspired by China’s ’85 New Wave movement, which saw artists search for a new, often more conceptual, language after the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Zeng closely followed and studied Western art and was particularly drawn to German Expressionism and French Romanticism, through which he observed the ways in which his predecessors processed and visualized their experiences during times of extreme societal flux. He was especially drawn to the bold expressive gestures of Max Beckmann, as well as artists such as Willem de Kooning and Edvard Munch. These influences led him to deviate from the Social Realism that he was taught in school. Instead, he keenly observed objects and images from daily life. His Hospital (1991–92) and Meat (1992–94) paintings are examples of this turn. In these visceral works, he painted the skin of his subjects a pinkish color resembling slaughtered meat, demonstrating his concern and compassion for human existence and fragility.

In 1993 Zeng relocated to Beijing, where the unfamiliar environment left him feeling isolated. During this time he became keenly aware of the people he encountered, from all walks of life, who were living through a period of rapid modernization. This awareness led to the creation of his Mask works (1994–2004), a series that preserved the large, vacant eyes and thick, clumsy hands of the subjects seen in prior paintings and introduced greater distance between the figures, creating a sense of alienation. The masks in these works obscure and divert from the subjects’ feelings and hint at Zeng’s apprehension toward and rejection of society’s accelerated, systematic development. These works not only provide a record of this period of profound social transformation, but also offer a glimpse of the collective memory of this era.

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Fairs, Events & Announcements

Zeng Fanzhi. Photo: Guo Shaoming

Book Launch

Zeng Fanzhi
Catalogue Raisonné 1984–2004

October 22–November 22, 2020
Zall Bookstore, Wuhan, China

To celebrate the release of Zeng Fanzhi: Catalogue Raisonné 1984–2004, the Fanzhi Foundation for Art and Education is hosting an online conversation and exhibition of early works made by the artist, in his hometown of Wuhan, China. Three of Zeng’s former professors from Hubei Institute of Fine Art—Pi Daojian, Wei Guangqing, and Fang Shaoh—and Shanghart founder Lorenz Helbling will speak about the artist’s practice on October 22, at 2am EDT (2pm HKT). The online conversation will be conducted in Chinese. The event is free and open to the public on WeChat and Zaiyi.

Zeng Fanzhi. Photo: Guo Shaoming

Takashi Murakami, Kiki, 2018–20 © 2020 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved

Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong Online

March 20–25, 2020

Works by Georg Baselitz, Jennifer Guidi, Tetsuya Ishida, Jia Aili, Takashi Murakami, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Zeng Fanzhi were available exclusively online. The selection was also on view in the Art Basel Hong Kong Online Viewing Rooms, accessible through artbasel.com and the Art Basel app.

Takashi Murakami, Kiki, 2018–20 © 2020 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All rights reserved

Sanyu, Basket of Flowers, 1931, courtesy Li Ching Cultural and Educational Foundation

Tour

Cézanne, Morandi, and Sanyu

Friday, April 26, 2019, 6pm
Gagosian, Hong Kong

Gagosian Hong Kong’s managing director Nick Simunovic and senior director Han-I Wang will discuss works by the three modern masters in the exhibition Cézanne, Morandi, and Sanyu at Gagosian, Hong Kong. In this presentation, Zeng Fanzhi examines the ways in which these three major figures set the stage for painting as we know it today, serving as crucial touchstones both for their contemporaries and for countless artists thereafter, including Zeng himself.  The tour will discuss the visual relationships between the works and the recurring characteristics of modernism that are present in this show. To attend the free event, RSVP to hktours@gagosian.com. Space is limited.

Sanyu, Basket of Flowers, 1931, courtesy Li Ching Cultural and Educational Foundation

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Museum Exhibitions

Zeng Fanzhi, Van Gogh III, 2017 © Zeng Fanzhi

Closed

Zeng Fanzhi | Van Gogh

October 20, 2017–March 5, 2018
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
www.vangoghmuseum.nl

This show marks the first time the Van Gogh Museum has invited a contemporary Asian artist to exhibit at the institution. Zeng Fanzhi, who has been inspired by the artist, presents new never-before-exhibited paintings that refer to works by Van Gogh in the museum’s collection, creating a dialogue between modern and contemporary art. The show was extended to accommodate the addition of a new painting.

Zeng Fanzhi, Van Gogh III, 2017 © Zeng Fanzhi

Press

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