Ravenel /Jun 3, 2012
€716,272.94 - €1,008,087.84
Find artworks, auction results, sale prices and pictures of Zeng Fanzhi at auctions worldwide.Go to the complete price list of works
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Artworks in Arcadja289
Some works of Zeng FanzhiExtracted between 289 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Hosane -Dec 22, 2012 - ShanghaiLot number: 1655
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The Sky ZENG FANZHI 130×200cm Oil on Canvas US $ 681,818-730,519 Born in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Hubei Academy of Fine Arts in 1991. Exhibitions: 'Post 89 - An Exhibition of New Chinese Arts' at the Marboroug Art Gallery, London, U.K., 1993; 'Exhibition Exploring the Current Chinese Situation' at the Feng Pingshan Museum, Hong Kong, 1994; 'Chinese Avant-Guard' at the Bassairona Modern Art Museum, Spain, 1985; 'Walking out of National Ideology-New Chinese Arts in the International Frontier' at the Cultural Center of Hamburg, Germany, 1995; 'Contemporary Chinese Art' at the Museum of Modern Art, Bonn, Germany, 1996; 'Quotation Mark-the Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Arts', at the National Art Gallery of Singapore, 1997; 'IT IS ME', the Tai Temple, Beijing, 1998; 'Contemporary Chinese Art' in Berlin, Germany, 1999; 'Zeng Fanzhi: 1993 to 1998' toured the art gallery of the Central Art Academy, Beijing, the Sihe Art Gallery and the ShangriLa Gallery, Shanghai, 1999; '50 Years of Chinese Oil Painting', Beijing, 1999; 'The Future' , Macao Contemporary Arts Center, 2000; ' I? We', Shanghai Art Museum, 1003; 'Zeng Fanzhi 1990-2004', He Xiangning Art Museum, Shengzhen, China, 2004; 'Face', Soobin Art Gallery, 2004. “The inspiration of ‘The Sky’’’’ is from my childhood. At that time, looking up into the sky always led to a wonderful fantasy. It permanently stays in the times we have gone through. Until now I can still hear its sound and smell its aroma.” In “The Sky” series, Zeng Fanzhi reproduced the delicate emotion and mentality experienced by the individuals in the modern society. In the image, layers of dark raw grass crazily stretch their life out. The whole scene is filled with the passion and vitality of raw grass and impresses us with substantial visual tension. It is a lonely romance, an ‘internal’’’’ vitality, a perception and spiritual scenery which is only waiting for insight but not for words. 2004年 Zeng Fanzhi in Chinese; zengfanzhi; dated 2004 Unmask the Mask-Zeng Fanzhi, Artside Gallery, Korea, 2004, p.44 & 45. Unmask the Mask-Zeng Fanzhi Solo Exhibition, Artside Gallery, Korea, 2004.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 25, 2012 - Hong KongLot number: 428
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ZENG FANZHI (Chinese, B. 1964) Mask Series signed in Chinese; signed 'Zeng Fanzhi' in Pinyin; dated '1999' (lower left) oil on canvas 71.5 x 55.5 cm. (28 1/8 x 21 7/8 in.) Painted in 1999 Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House, I/We: The Painting of Zeng Fanzhi 1991-2003, Wuhan, China, 2003 (illustrated, unpaged). Because false faces exist, people cannot avoid the distance they create between each other. It is almost impossible to confide in each other as everyone hides their true nature, all of their desires, so that when they appear in public, the outer mask is all everyone sees. -Zeng Fanzhi, quoted in B. Feng, Zeng Fanzhi 1993-1998, Beijing 1998, p. 13). The present Mask Series, painted in 1999 (Lot 428) is the quintessential archetype of Zeng Fanzhi's most iconic subject. From the celebrated series that stretched from 1994 to 2000, the present lot is an exceptional example that exemplifies Zeng's piercing insight into the conflicted feelings of his generation - a generation that witnessed China's phenomenal transformation from Communism to the new conditions of a capitalist-consumerist environment. In Mask Series the artist presents a lone figure against a nebulous and muted background. Dressed in the muted tones of the intellectual elite, the figure confronts the figure directly, his features impassive and his eyes wide and slightly unfocused. His shoulders slump slightly, suggesting an emotional indifference, and a solitary shadow falls lightly behind him. The facial features of the mask are sharp and exaggerated, and despite his direct orientation towards the viewer, he appears at pains to seem emotionally remote and aloof. Here, Zeng has inverted the traditional tropes of portraiture - it is not based on verisimilitude, nor is the 'face' a window into the soul. The impenetrable expression and the man's uncomfortable pose are tainted with artifice, contrivance and fashionable affectation. With his meticulously painted and exaggerated flesh tones pulsating with wrought veins, the throbbing tension within the composition makes abundantly clear the emotional and psychological strain on the individual in the ever-shifting social environment of the Post-Mao consumerist era. As such, Mask Series is not a portrait in the traditional sense - his protagonist rather stands as a symbol of China's new social order, one that is corrupted by superficiality and false surfaces. Mask Series is a daring work that reveals the tension between contemporary urban life and the artist's abiding existential concerns. The painting is at once an ironic depiction a lost self and stunted self-realization. In the words of the artist, the mask paintings 'focus on life in the modern environment and, due to the distrust, jealousy and misunderstandings between people, a state of mind that is unavoidably forced upon them. In today's society, masks can be found in every place. It doesn't matter if you are after protecting yourself, or you desire to deceive others, the true self will always be concealed.' (Zeng Fanzhi cited in L. Pi, Zeng Fanzhi 1993-1998, Beijing, 1998, p. 84). Ultimately, Zeng's psychologically penetrating Mask Series expresses the emotional and psychological strain experienced by a nation on the brink of major transformation.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 24, 2012 - Hong KongLot number: 31
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ZENG FANZHI (Chinese, B. 1964) Mask Series signed in Chinese; signed 'Zeng Fanzhi' in Pinyin; dated '1999' (lower right) oil on canvas 149.5 x 129.5 cm. (58 7/8 x 51 in.) Painted in 1999 ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai, China Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000 One of the greatest challenges with painting is how to render profoundly a segment of history onto the limited canvas space and to further allow the work to project different ideals and missions as time progresses. Under the parameter of contemporary art, the issue of "represented reality" in painting is no longer restricted to the portrayal of immediate images; it must also embody intellectual theoretical context and reflect the ethos of the time. As an iconic Chinese contemporary artist, Zeng Fanzhi's artworks are depictions of the social reality and collective destiny that the generation of post Cultural Revolution intellectual youth are facing. The artist has keenly observed that the issue pertaining to "survival" is cruel yet common, which has inspired his earlier Hospital series. After Zeng left Wuhan for Beijing, his Mask series created from 1994 to 2000 has come to mark an important turning point in his artistic career. He has deliberately held back his previous expressionist style and opted to use strong contrasting colours to express a cold reality. The conflict is derived from the artist's sense of alienation and his attempt to adapt to a new environment. His self-struggles and confrontations are transformed into visual allegories, which have come to form Zeng's unique art vocabulary. The Mask Series (Lot 31) is comprised of two masked men sitting adjacently behind a round table with a blue sky backdrop. The blue sky in Zeng's work is painted with a surrealistic approach, and it is almost impossible to determine whether it is the scenery outside the window or it is another painting. The uniformed mask is a representation of a symbolic portraiture, which annuls the identities of the characters, as the notion of the other is individually alienated and estranged, and ultimately silenced amidst the masses. However, the depiction of the hands remains as a clue that reveals the personalities of the characters and also the internal state of the artist, albeit the distanced and disaffected feeling projected by the painting. The emotions expressed are of anxiety and oppression for being in a communist social system. There is an unusual air of tension in this painting, which adds to the mystique of the masked men. Zeng is not merely focused on illustrating the scenario; his objective is to capture the anonymous yet commanding force behind the veneer of things, which is analogous to the message behind Western art virtuoso Lucian Freud's painting: Through the historical heritage of the painting itself, the collective subconscious of each era is thus unveiled. This portrayal holds similar meaning as Magritte's La condition humaine (Fig. 1); they are both questioning what's before the eye, and hope to discover the truth after thorough contemplation. Through the meticulous arrangement of the characters and composition, the connection and dialogue Zeng has conducted with history make the created in the later period even more profound and significant. The man depicted on the left of the painting is looking directly at the audience, and with a quill in hand, he seems to be ready to fill the blank pages before him on the desk. The other man dressed in a red suit and green tie positioned at the right side of the painting is in a higher position and is pointing at the book sternly and authoritatively. Upon analysis of the characters portrayed, the man holding the quill pen symbolizes wisdom and the unbounded freedom and absolute power that a creator holds; this masked character is the manifestation of Zeng, and with this evidence of the artist's presence on scene, it makes this painting synonymous to a self-portrait. Western classical master painters, such as Velázquez and Rembrandt, have all included images of themselves on their important masterpieces (Fig. 2 & 3). This implication of placing an image of the self in his painting is rarely seen in Zeng's art, and thus it demonstrates that this painting is one of the more iconic and critical works from the entire Mask series. The other man depicted in the painting wearing a suit and tie is representative of the image of the bourgeois, decadent and corrupt, based on the social cognition of the old Chinese society. The juxtaposition of the two characters shows the artist being confident and unperturbed and is looking fearlessly forward. Next to the well-dressed and aggressive looking man, the message the artist is trying to convey is that in the midst of hardship, he is determined not to give in to compromise and will remain poised and focused in creating art. Flemish painter Marinus van Reymerswaele depicted precisely in his painting, Two Tax Gatherers (Fig. 4), the scenario of two corrupt government officials collecting wrongful dues. In this piece by Zeng, he has further illustrated the struggles and confrontations between the individual and the system. After the "85 New Wave Movement," Chinese contemporary art has shown multifarious developments, and this could be traced to artists of Zeng's generation, for their perseverance to overcome the confusion and struggle while standing at the crossroads of the new era, and to open up the learning and exploration of Western modern art concepts. Using painting as the sole medium, political pop and cynical realism have become the most eyecatching representation of art in this day and age, which have constituted a critical context comprised of self-parody. This phenomenon has unveiled the prelude of Chinese contemporary art and has become the commonly familiar and accepted face of the era. The Mask Series is a response to the state of emptiness in the society arising from the countless self-oppressions that have occurred in the shared times. It is a seemingly harmonious facade that is filled with never-ending bewilderment and anxiousness, and is at the verge of a nervous breakdown. Zeng has successfully used this theme to be a part of this era, but has also kept a distance from reality. Through his art, he has calmly pointed out the irony embodied by this generation.
Auction: Ravenel -Jun 3, 2012 - TaipeiLot number: 174
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ZENG Fanzhi (Chinese, b. 1964) PrintGrass Series 2007 Oil on canvas 180 x 260 cm Signed lower right Zeng Fanzhi in Chinese and English, dated 2007 Catalogue Note: Zeng Fanzhi is perhaps the most acclaimed of contemporary Chinese artists, as his consistent development of series, styles and techniques, has won him many admirers worldwide. His strong expressionistic qualities combined with his flair for abstractness influenced by traditional Chinese painting has given him an unique voice which is unmistakable. Each of his series of works has been met with both critical and general accolades. Always preoccupied with the internal world of his protagonists, Zeng is a master at exploring the dark experiences of the individual mind especially in a modern world of increasing alienation, loneliness and detachment. From his original "Hospital" and "Meat" series through his great "Mask" series, followed by the increasingly more abstract "After Mask Series" series and now to his "Grass" and "Landscape" series, Zeng has followed a path of deepening maturity and expression in relation to portraying inner turmoil. In 2004, Zeng began to produce landscapes from which the present work comes. In his 'Sky' series, his portrayal of individuals continues his themes of detachment, loneliness and alienation, while the "Grass" series seems to offer some sort of redemption. Wild and chaotic strokes depict strong and vibrant grasses growing around mountains and blowing freely in the wind. It is as if Zeng is finally beginning to accept that his deep emotional inner turmoil and perturbations are something natural and part of nature, something not to be afraid of, something to be let loose and freed no matter how frightening, to be unconstrained and ultimately to be unmasked. "Grass Series" is an astoundingly strong and atmospheric painting from Zeng's recent new creations. It depicts dark and disturbing grasses growing menacingly on a hill at night with moonlight dappling the ground. The wild grasses dramatically intertwine around each other as they weave luxuriantly around a dark brooding mountain set against a twilight blue sky. Zeng has moved away from his earlier expressionism and has moved closer to the abstractness and spiritualism of traditional Chinese art. The grasses are strong and chaotic in dark colors, almost net like, or a wild plant in our nightmares entangling and ensnaring us. The dark colors of the brooding mountain add further to a sense of uneasiness. However, the dappled moonlight falling on the grasses in the foreground and on the ground evoke light and calmness suggesting that we do not need to fear to enter. They serve almost as a welcoming light, a beacon showing us the way home. While our emotions and feelings as represented by the grasses are chaotic and frightening, they are not something we need to repress or run away from. As night falls, the grasses are strong, vigorous and vibrant, perhaps like our deepest emotions and thoughts. Zeng's masterful brush strokes add to the heightened sense of power and emotion. They are indicative of his free flowing and subconscious painting style, allowing his moods and emotions to flow onto the canvas. Zeng uses two brushes held in one hand between different fingers to create his chaotic, wild strokes. Just as with a pair of chopsticks, one brush is held firmly with three fingers while the second one moves freely between two fingers. The first one creates deliberate thought out strokes, the second follows, freely creating whatever lines it wants. The first stroke is like our conscious, controlled thoughts, the second stroke like our wild, uncontrolled emotions allowing Zeng to create an abstract landscape of our inner psychological state. This psychological state is further represented by the dappled moonlight juxtaposed with the dark, mysterious hill covered in wild vigorous grasses. Calmness and turmoil are wonderfully rendered. Zeng's brush technique has created a new representational language combining the logical and irrational. The logical mind sits side by side with the unconscious, intuitive and emotional mind, just as the two brushes sit side by side in the hand. The deep linear marks stroked into the surface of the painting draw attention to the surface of the painting and the chaotic nature of the grasses. This is highly reminiscent of the abstract calligraphic representational techniques of ancient Chinese art. This combination of the rational and irrational is central to Zeng's themes, and his matching of technique with subject lends a special vibrancy and life to his paintings, which is highly lauded. Zeng Fanzhi's oeuvre charts a major exploration of the emotional and psychological state of the artist in an alienating and chaotic society. Zeng's unique voice is the true voice of an artist as he expresses his innermost turmoil and deep emotional disturbances.
Auction: Ravenel -May 28, 2012 - Hong KongLot number: 43
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ZENG Fanzhi (Chinese, b. 1964) PrintSky 2005 Oil on canvas 200 x 150 cm Signed lower right Zeng Fanzhi in Chinese and English, dated 2005 "Sky" is a major work from Zeng Fanzhi's classic "Sky Series", which he painted from 2004, embodying his universal themes of angst, uneasiness and bewilderment an individual feels in a chaotic and unyielding world. A lone figure standing on a hill, hands in pocket, confusion, puzzlement, and bewilderment etched on his face has become instantly recognizable to Zeng's admirers worldwide as one of his key representations of the isolated and lonely individual in an increasingly alienating society. Zeng's "Sky Series" however, offers much more in the way of light, hope and even personal redemption than his previous series of works such as his famous "Mask Series". While earlier body of works suggested man's struggle with an uncaring world brought suffering and angst with no escape, his "Sky Series" seems to imply that hope and redemption can be achieved through contemplation and inward awareness. The most inward looking of contemporary Chinese artists Zeng's works have always been a deep exploration of his inner psyche and the fears and terrors encountered there. Deeply influenced by European expressionists especially Robert Rauschenberg and Edvard Munch, Zeng has definitively broken the mold of Chinese realism and representational art, letting the painful innermost workings of his mind pour out on his canvases. Obsessed with the individual, his fears and anxieties in an alienating society, and the masks he wears to cover up his terrors, in the "Sky Series" Zeng suggests that some form of inner quietness and calmness even contentment may be achieved. Zeng's depiction of the young man dressed in a great flowing overcoat, hands stuffed in pockets, gazing off into the far distance suggests an aloofness, a separateness from the world that creates a grandeur. Standing tall and upright, with an almost regal bearing, the individual seems preoccupied with contemplation and reflection. Zeng's "Sky Series" was inspired by his experiences in youth, when troubled, he liked to lie on the ground staring at the sky. His mind could contemplate great wonders as the sky seemed to open up an infinity of possibilities, a broadness of thought, that could be found nowhere else. When he moved to Beijing, he missed the uncluttered view of the sky he had had as a child, the memories of it deeply embedded in his mind. As the initial alienation he felt on moving to a large city, the inspiration for his "Mask Series", began to wane, and he began to feel more comfortable in his own skin, his memories of the satisfaction of looking at the unending sky began to play into his art. If hope is to be found for a bewildered individual, it would be found from pondering greater truths outside of oneself, rather than stewing in the nightmarish thoughts of the inner mind. Zeng is a master at representing the inner turmoil and perplexities faced by young Chinese in a modern society that is so fast moving and ever changing. The apparently sophisticated and suave urbanite with the puzzled and strained expression on his face, articulates the fundamental isolation and bafflement, which results from an internal lack of knowledge of who he really is. However, the painting is full of light, with the all-encompassing great white sky in the background, as the glow of the evening sun lights up the individual's face dramatically. He seems to hold open his coat as he welcomes the warmth and clarity offered by the sunlight, and while still bewildered and perplexed redemption is being offered. His inner psyche may still be troubled, but a path out of the wilderness is being offered. The dark grasses of the hill on which he is standing are a small part of the scene, as the individual rises above his inner most fears and worries, and looks steadfastly ahead into brightness. As an expressionistic painter, all parts of Zeng's canvas have meaning and profundity. Wild and menacing grasses are suggestive of the inner turmoil created by uncontrolled fears and senses. Large open skies are indicative of a conduit for contemplation and reflection. Colors are also very important, with dark hues representational of the dark workings going on deep in the mind as with the grasses and hill, while the bright green of the coat evokes positive feelings and lightness, with wisps of blue in the white sky adding to the feeling of unconstraint. A realm of hope exists in this individual's world as he stoically and steadfastly faces into the bright sunlight, appearing to be psychologically strong enough to face his demons, and stand resolute in the face of anything a bewildering world can throw at him. Zeng stands out in many ways from his peers in contemporary Chinese art, displaying an uncommon maturity both in terms of expression and technique. Primarily concerned with the inner world, his body of work reflects his deep psychological unease and search for meaning in a bewildering new world. While his contemporaries mostly focused on political and social issues in a newly open and emerging China, Zeng from the beginning of his career focused on the alienation and detachment of the individual in a frightening new environment. Zeng is not just unique in his themes, he is also an experimental technician in painting methods and particularly in the great Chinese tradition of brush strokes and use of space. Both his universal theme of the pain of alienation and detachment and his masterful use of the paintbrush have brought him worldwide recognition and made him one of the most important of Chinese contemporary artists. Zeng was born in Wuhan in Hubei Province in 1964. As a child, he was introverted and was deeply affected by the chaos and irrationality in the society of his youth. His psyche was deeply traumatized by what it observed and art was the only outlet for his inner turmoil. He was immediately attracted to German Expressionism at the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, and his studies were to have a life-long influence on his works and techniques. Wild strokes, fleshy colors and brooding expressions were to become part of his hallmarks and were to allow him to express his angst and alienation in apocalyptic imagery and colors. However, such introspection and expressionistic tendencies found little acceptance in his native Wuhan and so in 1994 Zeng moved to Beijing. Here, he suffered the full trauma of alienation and disconnection. Zeng's body of work is a detailed expression of his psychological state at each period in his life. Unlike most of his contemporaries who are happy to stick with winning formulas in their artwork, Zeng has consistently introduced new series of works, and pushed the boundaries of his artistic style to constantly create new and arresting expressions of his inner-state. His "Sky" series is now one of his most acclaimed set of works, and the present work is an outstanding piece from this series.