Artnet Auctions announces a dynamic selection of paintings, works on paper, photographs, sculptures, and multiples by today’s leading Chinese contemporary artists, highlighted by Family Tree by Zhang Huan.
Family Tree, 2000
C-print on Fuji archival paper
21 x 16.5 in. (53.3 x 41.9 cm.) each
Edition of 25
Image ©Zhang Huan, 2011
New York / Berlin / Paris, September 30, 2011—artnet Auctions announces the Important Chinese Contemporary Art sale, a dynamic selection of paintings, works on paper, photographs, sculptures, and multiples by today’s leading Chinese contemporary artists. Many works are offered for sale to the collecting public for the first time, coming directly from various private collections or from the artists themselves. Artists include Alex Guofeng Cao, Cao Xiaodong, He Sen, Feng Zhengjie, Li Luming, Liu Bolin, Liu Wei, Pan Dehai, Qin Feng, Shi Lifeng, Wang Guangyi, Wang Zhijie, Wang Jin, Yin Kun, Yun-Fei Ji, Zeng Fanzhi, Zeng Jianyong, Zhang Dali, and Zhang Huan amongst others.
Leading the sale is Family Tree, 2000, by Zhang Huan (Est. US$200,000–250,000), one of the most important, influential, and iconic Chinese Contemporary artworks of all time. The artist sequentially documents his physical and metaphorical transformation in a series of nine visually arresting color photographs of the live performance piece with the same title. He invited three calligraphers to write specific Chinese texts related to family, tradition, and culture across his face over the course of an entire day, continuing to write even after his face was completely saturated with black paint. Family Tree is embraced by scholars and collectors alike as one of the most influential works of the Chinese avant-garde movement and has been featured in international museum exhibitions and publications. Importantly, this is the only known edition of the formal 25 available to the market at present. This edition comes to the sale from an American private collection and is in excellent condition.
Also offered is Mishaps II, 2001, by Yun-Fei Ji (Est. US$15,000–25,000), the most important original work by the internationally acclaimed artist to ever appear at auction. In the same American private collection since 2002, Mishaps II belongs to the artist’s most desirable series of works, all created with traditional Chinese ink and mineral pigments on long scrolls of handmade paper. In this work, Ji’s recurring themes related to the fall of communist China, the emergence of the Cultural Revolution, and feelings of dispossession are addressed. Fantastical beasts occupy a meditative place where the past and present, reality and fantasy, are indistinguishable. Works of this importance by Ji usually sell for more than US$40,000, and are rarely available, reserved to top private and museum collections, such The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, which owns two works by the artist.
Liu Wei’s Vermeer’s Girl, 2009, (Est. US$15,000–20,000) comes to this sale directly from the artist. Wei’s work has never been in greater demand, and oil paintings of this size and provenance are highly sought after. A leader among the young generation of Chinese Contemporary artists, Wei’s largest solo exhibition to-date was held at The Mincing Museum of Art, Shanghai, this year and favorably reviewed in ArtForum (September 2011 edition). Wei’s version of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring is dramatically stretched to fill a vertical canvas measuring 13 x 87 in. (40 x 200 cm.). When viewed directly, the painting intentionally reads like a traditional Chinese ink wash painting but when viewed from an angle, the Photorealistic portrait of Vermeer’s beautiful girl appears.
Rounding out the sale is Hiding in the City No. 4, “Suo Jia Village,” 2006, by Liu Bolin (Est. US$5,000–8,000), the first photograph from Bolin’s Hiding in the City series ever to come to auction at its largest format, measuring 41.5 x 63 in. Every photograph in this series is a clever self-portrait, where the artist literally paints himself, intricately camouflaged, into specific urban or rural environments around the world. His solo exhibition of these photographs, The Invisible Man, traveled to Beijing, Paris, and New York to critical acclaim in 2011. This marks a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a photograph by the artist at this scale and edition size, which sells for more than US$10,000–15,000 when available.
The Important Chinese Contemporary Art Sale is currently live for bidding on artnet Auctions until October 11, 2011.
For more information, please contact the specialists below.
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Visit the sale on artnet Auctions: http://www.artnet.com/auctions/chinese-contemporary-art-sale.
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