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  • Provenance

    Arario Gallery, Beijing

  • Catalogue Essay

    The clashing ideologies of socialism and capitalism abound in Wang Guangyi's work. As a towering exponent of the post-1989 Political Pop movement, Wang's paintings serve as mediation between China's totalitarian past and commercial present. The binary poles of communist idealism and western materialism are playfully explored through Wang's appropriation of images from propaganda and advertising. Prada, from the iconic Great Criticism series, features a group of stoic proletarians in two-tone yellow, with the logo of Italian fashion house Prada firmly anchored in the foreground.
    Rendered deliberately kitsch, the painting is suggestive of China's superficial social environment; the tension between the potent legacy of propaganda and the powerful allure of advertising is easily felt. One wonders if the proletarians have high political hopes, or simply a desire for high fashion. The inscription ‘NO' in the painting also has a certain ambiguity – are the figures refusing western consumerism or rejecting socialist values? Either way, Prada is a tongue-in-cheek comment about the ideological antagonism that exists between the two opposing doctrines.

34

Prada

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

Estimate
£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £109,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010
London