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Liu Ye

(1964 ) - Artworks
LIU YE Who Is Afraid Of Madame L?

Christie's /Nov 22, 2014
478,473.41 - 765,557.45
520,608.00

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Artworks in Arcadja
290

Some works of Liu Ye

Extracted between 290 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Liu Ye - Blue Sea

Liu Ye - Blue Sea

Original 1998
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 1059
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Liu Ye B. 1964 BLUE SEA signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 98, framed oil on canvas 170 by 200.3 cm.; 66⅞ by 78⅞ in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Provenance Private Collection Christie's, Hong Kong, 27 May, 2007, lot 497 Private Collection (Acquired from the above sale) Christie's, Hong Kong, 26 November, 2011, lot 1030 Acquired by the present owner from the above sale Exhibited Taiwan, Taipei, My Humble House Art Gallery, Liu Ye Solo Exhibition: Red & Blue, 31 October - 16 November 2014, unpaginated Liu Ye A Fairy Tale Above the Waves Liu Ye To descend into Liu Ye’’s world is to step into a fairy tale: after all the artist has confessed, “I always feel that I live every moment in a fairy tale world.” 1 Populating his oeuvre are sailors, cherubic children, and even Dick Bruna’’s Miffy, set against a sea of sapphire here, a luscious valley there, or even yet, frosty scenes of land covered in snow. It is this charming quality to Liu’’s works that have gained him worldwide acclaim. Sotheby’’s is pleased to offer for this sale an early piece from Liu Ye’’s oeuvre, Blue Sea (Lot 1059) , a charming piece which contains numerous symbols that are instantly recognisable in the artist’’s work. For Liu Ye, childhood is the pinnacle of joy. As he tells the art critic Leng Lin, “Childhood, for me, was a golden time, many aspects of my painting reflect my childhood imagination and fantasies.” 2 Born in 1964, Liu was very much a child of the Cultural Revolution, although the artist explains that it never directly affected him in a negative way; instead, it was merely a background to his upbringing, a time when a loving family sheltered him from any possible strife or conflict. During this time, his father, who was an author of propaganda children’’s stories, would slip his son banned children’’s books, written by the likes of Lewis Carroll and Hans Christian Andersen, spurring Liu’’s imagination and broadening his mindscape. The artist thus grew up in this idyllic childhood, before enrolling at the department of Industrial Design at the Beijing School of Arts and Crafts at the tender age of fifteen. Having later graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Liu pursued a Master’’s Degree in the Kunsthochschule Berlin in Germany—a place which would become the source of many of his lasting motifs. One such recurring motif is the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’’s style, an artist whose clean linear considerations see themselves reproduced in Liu Ye’’s works. To Liu, “Mondrian’’s elements appear in my [Liu’’s] paintings as spiritual symbols. His [Mondrian’’s] paintings are so simply pure: only the basic colours and vertical and horizontal lines. I’’d also like to solve the problem of simplicity.” Piet Mondrian’’s essence can surely be sensed in Blue Sea, a work governed by orderly lines. These lines separate the piece into ostensibly four dimensions: the ship on which the sailor stands, a vast expanse of sea, a distant warship, and clouds beyond this, floating above the horizon. Though these four elements are of course at different distances, Blue Sea seems to flatten them, allowing them to converge and coexist in the same space. In this sense, the warship seems to be floating casually above the sailor’’s head; or perhaps yet, that the sea is a mysterious body of substance that has become the background to the ship itself. Either way, this compressed effect injects an element of whimsicality, or even humour, into the painting. Similarly in Mondrian’’s works can we detect themes of compression: where different planes exist within the same dimension. When we return to Blue Sea, this technique of compression is further explored by Liu: rather than simply presenting a coexistence of planes, Liu has used the technique to instil a sense of trompe-l'œil in its viewer. Furthermore, he has used this trickery to his advantage, aligning with this a childish effect—it is as if a child has lorded over this dimension, where sea, sky and ship can exist in the same space and time, in a perfectly rational manner. For an artist who wields his brush just as easily as he escapes into his childhood, this is a brilliant instance where form echoes feeling; where style complements sentiment. Liu Ye is an artist who is adept at breathing new life into his muses, effortlessly transforming them into things of his own. Dominating Blue Sea is also a rich navy blue, a colour which is common in Liu’’s works. One is immediately reminded of the deep hue of Yves Klein’’s famous pigment, International Klein Blue (IKB), which was patented in 1960. Fittingly, Klein considered IKB capable of “eradicating the flat dividing line of the horizon, [that] would evoke a unification of heaven and earth.” 3 When considered alongside Blue Sea, whose very content seeks to blur the horizon, creating a “unification of heaven and earth”, one may consider the use of this colour more than just accidental. The depth created by the layer upon layer of deep navy gives the illusion of waves, a sea of portentous shadows at the foot of which can be seen a warship. The meticulous treatment of the sea is typical of Liu Ye’’s works, where many coats of paint in varying shades are applied, then reapplied to the canvas in order to create a sense of profundity and dimension. Just before this sea is the sun-drenched deck of the ship whereupon a sailor stands— looking in the wrong direction for threats and danger. Herein lies the humour in Liu’’s works. As the artist himself mentions, “I’’m not used to thinking profoundly about problems. I treat problems irrationally.” 4 Often his early works depict scenes filled with latent danger: blissfully ignorant children dancing in front of falling planes, or sinking ships. In such a way, their childhood innocence is intact, preserving the illusion that their worlds are safe. Perhaps in this way, the artist relives his childhood vicariously through the children in his works. In Blue Sea, we see a sailor failing to indicate the danger of the warship on the horizon. The scene is verging on the farcical; a product of the artist’’s inability to deal with his issues in a rational manner, perhaps even avoiding them. Blue Sea is a work that combines two elements of Liu’’s style: that of the magical, but also of the contemplative. Liu has once said, “I have an equal passion towards both fairy tales and philosophy…Fairy tales are illusioned and sensational whereas philosophy is about strict and rational thinking. My paintings ramble between these two opponent spheres.” 5 The present work is indeed in equal parts magical as it is meditative, and serves as a valid slice of the artist’’s mental-scape. Both charming and contemplative, this early work retains many seemingly paradoxical elements of Liu’’s style. While “strict and rational” linear considerations are present, there is also a sense of the “sensational”, and perhaps absurd. In Blue Sea, we see that the potencies of these two feelings are somehow tamed by Liu, creating a visually but also thematically stunning piece of work. 1 Liu Ye: mit Essays von Bernhard Fibicher und Zhu Zhu, Kunstmuseum Bern, 2007, p.74 2 Liu Ye, Mingjingdi Gallery, 1997, p.42 3 Yves Klein: 1928 – 1962, Germany, Taschen Basic Art, 2001 4 “Questions and Answers, Leng Lin and Liu Ye”, Liu Ye, Mingjingdi Gallery, 1997 5 “Liu Ye: Temptations”, Sperone Westwater, 14 September – 28 October 2006
Liu Ye - A Composition For Mondrian

Liu Ye - A Composition For Mondrian

Original 2000
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 103
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Liu Ye B. 1964 A COMPOSITION FOR MONDRIAN signed in Chinese and Pinyin, titled, dated 2000, numbered 23/62; printed and stamped by A&Y Studio silkscreen print 54 x 74 cm., 21 1/4 x 29 1/8 in. With deckle edge to all four sides, colours fresh and bright, the work is in good condition. Framed under Plexiglas. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Liu Ye - Choir

Liu Ye - Choir

Original 2001
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 291
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
LIU, YE 1964 Beijing - lives and works in Beijing Choir. 2001. Screenprint on canvas. 59 x 69 cm. Signed and dated lower right Liuye 2001 as well as numbered lower left 51/100. Number 51/100. Framed. Liu, Ye 1964 Peking - lebt und arbeitet in Peking Choir 2001. Siebdruck auf Leinwand. 59 x 69cm Signiert und datiert unten rechts Liuye 2001 sowie nummeriert unten links 51/100. Ex. 51/100. Rahmen.
Liu Ye - Who Is Afraid Of Madame L?

Liu Ye - Who Is Afraid Of Madame L?

Original 2005
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 32
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
LIU YE (B.1964) Who is Afraid of Madame L? signed Liu Ye in Pinyin; signed in Chinese; dated 05 (lower right) acrylic and oil on canvas 99.7 x 80.6 cm. (39 1/4 x 31 3/4 in.) Painted in 2005 Provenance Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, USA Acquired from the above by the present owner
Liu Ye - Untitled

Liu Ye - Untitled

Original 1999
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 910
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Liu Ye B. 1964 UNTITLED signed in Chinese and Pinyin, dated 99 and numbered 24/28, framed lithograph 57 by 73 cm.; 22½ by 28¾ in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Provenance Private European Collection
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