Wang Guangyi - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Arario Gallery, Beijing

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is important to note that there is not a consensus about the critical intent of Wang Guangyi's work. In fact, some critics have been particularly strong in their rejection of his paintings, as well as those by other Political Pop artists, finding fault with the artists for tapping into the manipulative power of propaganda imagery without adequately subverting its meaning. In other words, Wang can be seen as extracting cultural capital from a history of suffering, providing easy answers without asking too many difficult questions. This suspicion is compounded by the fact that the artist's works have become valuable commodities, having circulated perhaps too easily into the Western art market...The value of Wang's works—and others like them—is their ability to resist absolute clarity, instead creating a surprising tension between consumer and Maoist imagery. Without being overtly critical—refusing the tactic of direct accusation that often short-circuits more provocative discussion—Wang is able to call into question both the capitalist and communist symbols in his work, allowing us to see them as conflicting and competing precisely because of their mutual insistence on hegemony.
    (D. Spalding, taken from



Oil on canvas.
201 x 201 cm. (79 x 79 in).
Signed and dated ‘Wang Guangyi 2003 [in Chinese and Pinyin]' on the reverse.

£120,000 - 180,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm