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Zeng Fanzhi

September 24–November 5, 2011
Hong Kong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view  Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation view

Artwork © Zeng Fanzhi Studio. Photo: Martin Wong

Installation video

Installation video

Works Exhibited

Zeng Fanzhi, A Man in Melancholy, 1990 Oil on canvas, 43 ¼ × 35 ⅜ inches (110 × 90 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, A Man in Melancholy, 1990

Oil on canvas, 43 ¼ × 35 ⅜ inches (110 × 90 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, Portrait 09-7-1, 2009 Oil on canvas, 17 ⅜ × 13 ⅜ inches (44 × 34 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Portrait 09-7-1, 2009

Oil on canvas, 17 ⅜ × 13 ⅜ inches (44 × 34 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Bacon, 2010 Oil on canvas, 86 ⅝ × 70 ⅞ inches (220 × 180 cm)© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

Zeng Fanzhi, Bacon, 2010

Oil on canvas, 86 ⅝ × 70 ⅞ inches (220 × 180 cm)
© Zeng Fanzhi Studio

About

Every mark articulates, every mark masks.
—Zeng Fanzhi

Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present a major exhibition by Zeng Fanzhi that traces his wide-ranging depictions of the human figure in key paintings from the last twenty years. This is his first exhibition with the gallery.

Zeng’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 livid Meat paintings that juxtapose human subjects with butchered flesh; from the cryptic Mask paintings to starting, close-up portraits; from intimate, existential still lifes such as Boots (2009) 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.

In Zeng’s highly tactile paintings, the details of representation often overlap seamlessly with qualities of abstraction, as in certain traditional Chinese aesthetic objects. All are expressionistically rendered with extraordinary attention to the material nuances of the painted surface. Charged with an underlying psychological tension, his oeuvre reveals the place of the unconscious and aberrant in the construction of human experience, reflecting on the external pressures in a rapidly changing society and the constant negotiation of personal identity within such societal flux.

From the Quarterly