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Liu Ye

(1964 )
LIU YE Crying Over Mondrian

Christie's /Mar 25, 2016
11,440.60 - 17,160.90
50,531.25

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Artworks in Arcadja
316

Some works of Liu Ye

Extracted between 316 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Liu Ye - Killing Me Softly

Liu Ye - Killing Me Softly

Original 2002
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Lot number: 1053
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Liu Ye KILLING ME SOFTLY signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 2002, framed acrylic on canvas 90 by 90 cm; 35⅜ by 35⅜ in. Provenance Private Collection Poly Auction, Beijing, 21 November 2006, lot 315 Acquired by the present owner from the above sale Exhibited China, Beijing and Hong Kong, Schoeni Art Gallery, Liu Ye: Red, Yellow, Blue, 2003, p. 49 Hong Kong, Schoeni Art Gallery, Liu Ye: Red, Yellow, Blue, 2004 Literature Liu Ye, Liu Ye: My Own Story, Gallery 3, 2003, p. 130 Liu Ye, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2007, p. 39 China Art Book: The 80 Most Renowned Chinese Artists, Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne, Germany, 2007, p. 246 Liu Xin Wu, Dés de poulet façon mégère, BLEU DE CHINE, Paris, France, 2007, cover Wu Hung, Contemporary Chinese Art: A History 1970s to 2000s, Thames and Hudson, London, UK, 2014, p. 370 Liu Ye Catalogue Raisonne 1991-2015, Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2015, p. 306 Catalogue Note A Classic Work from a Golden Era Liu Ye A broad survey of Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s paintings between 1991 and the present reveals a hidden theme. The layers of simple images contain riddles of wisdom and philosophy, which is one reason audiences seem to enjoy gazing deeply into them. These riddles represent the artist’’’’’’’’s acknowledgment of the great river of art history that precedes his own creative practice. They are also mementos of his private life, but he treats them with a light hand, like an adult weaving a fairy-tale in childlike language. This secret realm is the private language of a solitary person: the paradise of a pessimist. Killing Me Softly (Lot 1053), completed in 2002, is a classic work from the beginning of Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s Golden Era. The painting has been exhibited in multiple exhibitions, and for many people, it is the image that comes to mind when they think of Liu Ye. The visual enchantment lies within its rigid composition, where abstract and figurative coexist freely, and dreams interlace with reality. In this way, Liu attains his secret dream of achieving lightness of life. “I wish that each of my paintings only weighed one gram”. The Mondrian beneath the girl’’’’’’’’s arm is traded for a tightly grasped knife; the pink background attenuates the tension of the confrontation; the piglet holds its head high, both proud and yielding. Like his previous paintings, Killing Me Softly is a stage, a secret chamber, a private play for the audience. The girl and the piglet have nowhere to run or hide. They stand silently in the light and shadows, perhaps communicating in murmurs too quiet for us to hear. Fabricated characters can be dimensional projections of actual lives; the girl stands in for all of humankind. Liu Ye has always fascinated by the faces of children, who he usually situates in some anonymous place and time. They are small, delicate, and isolated from the world. Shortly after his birth in Beijing in 1964, Liu Ye was sent to the countryside alongside his father, who was an author of children’’’’’’’’s literature. Liu’’’’’’’’s childhood was one of forced relocations as the thoughts and minds of an entire generation of intellectuals were audited and censored. Thus he explored the world with a sense of secretiveness, aware of both its joys and its perils. Maintaining a submissive posture to authority while privately enjoying limited freedoms became a game. At the age of four, he discovered banned books hidden in a secret suitcase in his house; this suitcase became a glimmer of light within a dark and forbidding castle. His favourite book, Oscar Wilde’’’’’’’’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, tells the story of a portrait that allowed its subject to retain his youthful appearance despite the passage of time and horrific experiences. This story helped lay the seeds for Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s creative career, in which literary scenes have played a prominent role. In 1980, he gained admittance to the China School of Arts and Crafts. Like other Chinese artists of his generation, he received a strict, orthodox education in the arts while simultaneously experiencing the dramatic opening up of his society and the arrival of influence from the Western cultural world. In this complex and contradictory environment, Liu Ye developed his own painting language, drawing on the styles of Mondrian, Vermeer, and Klee. After graduating from the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, he traveled to Germany to continue his studies. These repeated changes in environment compelled Liu Ye to adapt and refine his style. He honed his technical ability and sought to resist the past while also cautiously acknowledging its value. In the 1990s, self-portraits often appeared among the artist’’’’’’’’s paintings, which featured dreams within dreams, paintings within paintings, and plays within plays. It all looked toward the future while glancing back at the past. The actions of his characters seemed to be earnest performances of life situations; the airplanes, steamships, seas and horizons in the distance were unreachable realities, unattainable worlds. Liu Ye has always claimed to avoid political metaphor, but his experiences as a child during a tumultuous period of history undoubtedly informed his early paintings. Those works include red cloth, choruses, green skirts, naval uniforms, airplanes, and images of Mao that reveal the marks and scars of collective memory in the human heart. These political symbols subsequently became key surrealistic elements during a certain phase of Chinese contemporary art, but Liu Ye had no interest in continuing to play deconstructive games. He earnestly parted ways with these methods, seemingly isolating himself, and implying a struggle between the individual and history, as well as one between the individual and the group. This decision was a choice to take a more arduous road in his painting practice. He resolved to move beyond these scars and seek a quieter and more secluded path. In his understanding of art, politics are far less important than art, emotions, and people themselves. So Liu Ye drew a clear boundary between his painting and his politics. Hints of Mondrian’’’’’’’’s influence are evident in Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s earliest work. Liu exhibits the humility and piety of a classicist, and these traits led him into dialog with the great masters of the past. He seeks to infuse his images with perpetuity, balance, and abundance, and this kind of intimacy requires avoiding the solemnity that people expect. Instead, Liu escaped into the world of the child who refuses to grow up, thus avoiding seriousness, which can lead to the suspicion of artificiality. At the same time, he cleverly disguised himself within his work. His own sorrow and pessimism is concealed in the bright colors and light humor of his paintings. In his own words: my works have never expressed joy. An escapist air has continued to characterize Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s work, including two recent series, Book and Bamboo. Liu has traced the traditions of Western abstractionism and Yuan Dynasty landscapes to the most essential aspects of painting. Leafs dissolve and bamboo joints jut forth; simple lines and murky tones describe the cool and bleak world of a recluse. But their fragmentary and dreamlike postulations also bring the viewer into the heart of tableaus that recall Mondrian. Liu Ye’’’’’’’’s painting series are different parts of the river of life in his imagination. They show flickering signs of his ideas about the world. Each one-act play is a glimpse of a perpetual drama; each momentary glimpse is both a painting and an eternity.
Liu Ye - Angel Choir

Liu Ye - Angel Choir

Original 2001
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Lot number: 264
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot Description LIU YE (China, B. 1964) Angel Choir signed ‘Liu Ye’’’’’’’’ in Pinyin; signed in Chinese; dated ‘2001’’’’’’’’(lower right) ; numbered ‘95/100 (lower left) digital print on canvas 60 x 70 cm. (23 5/8 x 27 1/2 in.) edition 95/100 Executed in 2001 Provenance Private Collection, Asia
Liu Ye - Red No. 2

Liu Ye - Red No. 2

Original 2003
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Lot number: 61
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot Description LIU YE (Chinese, B. 1964) Red No. 2 acrylic on canvas 195 x 195 cm. (76 ¾ x 76 ¾ in.) Painted in 2003 Provenance Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong Acquired from the above by the present owner Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION Literature 'Avant-garde Art Goes Chic' in Chinese Art Digest 5, Beijing, China, 2003 (details illustrated, cover;& illustrated, p. 5). Schoeni Art Gallery, Liu Ye: Red Yellow Blue , Hong Kong, 2004 (illustrated, p. 47). Hatje Cantz Verlag, Liu Ye: Catalogue Raisonne 1991-2015 , Ostfildern, Germany, 2015 (illustrated, p. 311). Exhibited Hong Kong, Schoeni Art Gallery, Liu Ye: Red Yellow Blue , 2004. View Lot Notes >
Liu Ye - Crying Over Mondrian

Liu Ye - Crying Over Mondrian

Original 2000
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Lot number: 87
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot Description Liu Ye (Chinese, B. 1964) Crying Over Mondrian signed 'Liu Ye' in Pinyin; signed in Chinese; dated '2000' (lower right); inscribed 'For George' (lower left) watercolour on paper 32 x 24 cm. (12 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.) Painted in 2000 Provenance Private Collection, Europe
Liu Ye -  Matthias & Fleur

Liu Ye - Matthias & Fleur

Original 2010
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Lot number: 68
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Liu Ye (Beijing 1964)Matthias & Fleur Signed with initials and dated 2010 l.r. Watercolour on paper, 54.9 x 46.8 cm Provenance: - Charity auction, Stichting Maande Middle School, Hilversum, 27 September 2010 - Private collection, The Netherlands Literature: C. van Zadelhoff, Haruba. Het mysterie van een verborgen rijk, Practicum Grafimedia, Soest, 2010, page 77 (ill.) (incl. book) N.B. I: The work offered here was bought at a charity auction, the proceeds of which benefitted the pupils of the de Maande Middle School in Yunnan. Internationally renowned artists contributed to this auction, such as Dick Bruna and Jeroen Krabbé, Wang Guangyi, Yin Kun and Liu Ye. Of Liu Ye is known that he greatly admires Dick Bruna, through whom he pledged his cooperation to this project. N.B. II: Liu Ye was inspired for this work by the main characters Matthias and Fleur in the story Haruba. As a result of Ye depicting a Chinese girl with blue eyes (a sign of good luck in China), this work was given much international media attention, as well as in Chinese news reports.
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