Wang Guangyi - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Literature

    U. Grosenick and C. Schübbe, eds., China Art Book, Cologne, 2007, p. 420 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    As with the Post-Classical and Mao Zedong series, in Great Criticism Wang Guangyi was once again painting his pictures with a borrowed brush. But the painters he borrowed from here did not have the consummate skills of the old masters; neither were the cameras that stayed absolutely true to their subjects. Rather they were a group of very ordinary artists, namely the authors of the mass criticism posters that were widely circulated during the Cultural Revolution. Just like the designers who created logos for the famous brands that can now be seen everywhere, the names of these artists are unknown (although they would be easier to trace than the craftsman who carved the numerical stamps that Wang Guangyi also makes use of it the Great Criticism paintings). But the symbols they created have greatly altered the living environments of countless people. These symbols have real shock value, like that of the swastika symbol, and their diverse forms and rich content exert an immense psychological pull on people. Once these symbols had separated off from specific cultural circumstances, they became a new vocabulary of meaningless and perplexing words. Yet for Chinese people today they are vivid images, firmly embedded in the context of their lives.
    Y. Shanchun, “Art and Social Reality,” Wang Guangyi: The Legend of Heroism, Hong Kong / Paris, 2004, p.19



Oil on canvas.
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in. (200 x 200 cm).

Signed and dated “Wang Guangyi [in English and Chinese] 2005” on the reverse.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $278,500

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York