Li Songsong - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    At the heart of Li Songsong's painting is a fragile narrative that unfolds between politics, art, and history. Li, who has been compared to both Gerhard Richter and Jasper Johns in his exploration of realism and abstraction, constantly grapples with images culled from old newspapers, television, and the tenuous filter of memory. His paintings depict scenes that have become integral references in popular culture but many of which the artist himself has never witnessed. Li typically begins with a corner of an image and reworks it in fragments, using spectacularly rich, textured paint that imparts a new, physical dimensionality to the work itself, while abstracting the overall image further from its origins like a collective game of ‘Chinese Whispers'.
    "For National Geographic, Li took his source material from over 100 Google Earth images.Translating these jpegs into the language of paint, Li's textured canvas refers to both digitisation and topographical maps, with fields of thick impasto replicating the gradations of land and water. Picturing the island of Taiwan, Li's painting pushes the boundaries of abstraction, both visually and conceptually:The remote distance of satellite photos, paradoxically reproduced in Li's highly physical and intimate style of painting,convert the map into a disorienting terrain, equally virtual and haptic." (taken from


National Geographic

Oil on canvas.
360 x 240 cm. (142 x 94 1/2 in).
Signed and dated ‘Li Songsong 2006 [in Chinese and Pinyin]' on the reverse.

£80,000 - 120,000 ≠ †

Sold for £73,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm