Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2017 Autumn Auctions
The Schoeni Family Collection

Zeng Fanzhi (B.1964)
Class One Series No.25(Painted in 1997)

Oil on canvas

48 × 38 cm 18 7/8 × 15 in.

Numbered,signed in Chinese and dated on reverse

1997, 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, p.22
20 Jun – 12 Jul 1997,8+8-1:Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists,Schoeni Art Gallery,Hong Kong
1998,8+8-1:Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists,Connaught Brown Gallery,London

This work is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity issued by Schoeni Art Gallery,Hong KongGroup Image in Zhang Xiaogang's Narration
Zhang Xiaogang's works show the variation in the style of Chinese contemporary art over the past 20 years.With his independent creation style and a monologue art narration,he has created many characters of monumental significance,making his works adequate to be an epitome of Chinese contemporary art.
Under the wave of the Modern Art Movement,Zhang Xiaogang together with Mao Xuhui and Ye Yongqing formed the art group "New Figuration".He then successfully completed during his creation the transformation to the Surrealistic narration.In 1990s,under the influence of "Political Pop" and the wave of “Cynical Realism”,Zhang Xiaogang’s art has gradually developed into visual expression of ideas,trying to find new artistic expressions through practice with rigorous and rational symbolic language.The birth of the "Blood Line-Big Family" in 1994 marks the genuine maturity of Zhang Xiaogang's art narration.In this series,he chose Chinese ordinary people’s most common family-portrait taking,fusing the unified treatment of the old photo and the sense of androgyny into the depiction of the characters.Zhang Xiaogang's "Big Family" series turned out to be a huge success in the 46th Venice Biennale Exhibition and the 22nd Sao Paulo Biennale Exhibition,becoming an important milestone in the development of Chinese contemporary art.
The two pieces of work in "Blood Line Series" on sale this time were created in 1996.They are important representatives of Zhang Xiaogang’s "Big Family" series,which were created in 1990s.In the Blood Line Series No.52,the boy who is still in his childhood has numb and dull expressions;his eyes though highlighted are still erratic.The bright yellow which nearly covers his entire face further enhances the peculiar atmosphere in the picture.While the red lines entering from the side the picture and traversing beside the boy’s cheeks suggests the profound influence from Frida Kahlo’s art,it further manifests the importance of bloodline in artist’s mind during the timespan.
Another piece Untitled Series NO.2 was created in 2003,compared with his previous works,the expression of the character’s emotions is more evident and diversified,revealing the development of the painter’s mentality.Zhang Xiaogang chose the "profile picture" to enhance the possibility of concealing a variety of emotions.The face of the character presents on the limited canvas as a close-up.The unique tilting perspective creates a sense of instability and dynamics.The artist puts particular emphasis on depiction of the eyes.His approach is free from the relation between light and shade as well as the anatomic relationship,manifesting a range of expressions unconsciously revealed by the character.Zhang Xiaogang ingeniously freezes the memory in an instant,making every expression filled with infinite possibilities of change.The touch of red around the corner of the character’s eyes further breaks the original black-white layer and the internal narrative of the picture,demonstrating the inheritance of the localization of Western Realism in the late Ming to early Qing Dynasty.It not only forms an irony towards a specific ideology with an image of strong historical sense,but further enhances the strong spiritual power that this picture contains in silence.This makes the image of the youth in the picture an epitome of a social class or even of an era.

Price estimate:
HKD: 1,200,000 – 1,800,000
USD: 154,400 – 231,700

Auction Result:
HKD: 1,770,000



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