Wang Guangyi - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Beijing

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Materialist series of sculptures I created in 2001 can be said to have grown out of the work I had been doing previously with site-specific installations. The experience of using every type of material and format in these works was a freeing experience. My artistic horizons were widened, and I began to feel that there were no limits to the forms of expression possible for me. From a theoretical standpoint, it could be said that the Materialist sculpture represent a movement away from the kind of visual dichotomies that characterized my earlier works. There was no longer any question of introducing western brand names into the images. Rather, I left a strong urge to return to the basic forms of Socialist expression. The process of creating the sculptures in fact gradually helped me to formulate a conceptual framework for my work: that is, the concept of a Socialist visuality. This is an idea that had been in my mind for some time, but it was not until I created the sculptures that I was really able to articulate it. This was a watershed for me. In my sculptures I attempt to return to the simplest, purest state of fundamental faith. Form the standpoint of present society, I am not trying to criticize anything; rather, my hope is to create signifiers of cultural memory for future generations.

    Conceptually speaking, this process of returning to the original expression has meant for me a return to the original ideological worldview that guided my earliest educational; experience, and, by extension, to the earliest views on the questions of form that were imparted to me. In fact, it could be said that all the work I am now doing is related to this idea of going back to the original, and of reducing things to there essentials. In the past, I never thought this way, but now I am following the trajectory of my own growth development. I realize that is very important for an artist.

    - G. Wang, artist's statement, at;jsessionid=779DBB9DC1860121CFEC6E6232341A41?textId=95



Cast bronze.
60 x 54 x 31 in. (152.4 x 137.2 x 78.7 cm).
Signed and dated "Wang Guang Yi 2005" and numbered of three on the reverse. This work is from an edition of three.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £102,000

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm