Wang Guangyi - BRIC Theme Sale London Friday, April 23, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    The vast legacy of propaganda that resulted from Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution has greatly impacted on Wang Guangyi and other contemporary Chinese artists interested in critically examinig China's recent visual history. Political Pop, as the movement is loosely known, appropiates the visual tropes of propaganda from the Cultural Revolution, reworking them in the flat, colourful style associated with American Pop of the same era. The ideological antagonism that exists between China's traditional socialist ideology and the materialistic mentality of western society seen as invading and changing it is powerfully exposed in Wang Guangyi's Great Criticism series. These large-scale canvases combine famous western brand names with idealized figures of Mao's workers and farmers, which the artist covers with hundreds of little numbers in repetitive sequences reminiscent of barcodes or serial numbers - a reference to the standardization and numeric symbols of the codifying systems of consumerism.
    "It was Wang Guangyi's Great Criticism series that caught the imagination of the western art world and confirmed his position as leader of the avant-garde. In the paintings, the clashing ideologies of socialism and consumerism meet. Wang Guangyi unbashedly appropriated images from socialist propaganda art that depicted China striding towards an ideal tomorrow. Across these, he slapped various logos of famous western brand to represent the concerns of consumerism."
    (K.Smith, Wang Guangyi, Hong Kong, 2003)


Disney from the Great Criticism series

Oil on canvas.
200 x 160 cm (78 3/4 x 63 in).
Signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated '2006 Wang Guangyi' on reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 

BRIC Theme Sale

23-24 April 2010