Every mark articulates, every mark masks.
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
Zeng Fanzhi | Van Gogh
Zeng Fanzhi discusses his approach to the Zeng Fanzhi | Van Gogh exhibition in Amsterdam and the various ways the renowned Dutch painter continues to inspire artists today.
Zeng Fanzhi: The Early Years
Gladys Chung investigates the formative stages of this artist’s career.
Zeng Fanzhi’s Blue
A slideshow containing photographs of the creation of Blue (2015) by Zeng Fanzhi.
Paintings, Drawings, and Two Sculptures
November 6–December 23, 2015
West 24th Street, New York
November 20, 2012–January 19, 2013
Britannia Street, London
September 26–November 9, 2017
Extended through February 28, 2015
Le Jardin Décomposé / Decomposed Garden
October 14, 2014–February 28, 2015