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  • Provenance

    David Zwirner, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, David Zwirner, Yan Pei-Ming: You maintain a sense of balance in the midst of great success, 14 May - 16 June 2007

  • Catalogue Essay


    “Man performs as both the subject and observer so looking at my art should be like looking in a mirror.” - Yan Pei-Ming


    Symbolizing a unique bridge between orient and occident, Yan Pei-Ming has become a leading figure in the contemporary art world, producing paintings that have a commanding physicality and an equally powerful emotional feeling. His expressive style is characteristically Western, while his blurred technique and controlled colour palette is more indicative of Eastern aesthetics. Working almost exclusively between hues of black, white and red, each colour holds a particular meaning within the artist’s Chinese background. White is the colour that is associated with death and mourning, red symbolizes purity and joy, while black celebrates life and innocence. Rendered in black, the depiction of his father perfectly discerns Yan’s amiable demeanour towards his father with his graceful application of brushwork. Double (Artist’s Father), can be interpreted as the journey Yan Pei-Ming’s father never managed to make to New York in his own lifetime. This symbolism is further enhanced by the inclusion of the present lot in Yan Pei-Ming’s first exhibition in New York (New York, David Zwirner, Yan Pei-Ming: You maintain a sense of balance in the midst of great Success, 2007).


    Drawing primarily from memory and photographic sources, Yan’s subject matters are comprised of important figures that each individually impacted the artist during his lifetime, from iconic figures of popular culture such as Mao and Buddha, to intimate ones of his father. His career-long curiosity in memory and human emotions is evident in Double (Artist’s Father), 2007, where the figure of the father is repeated twice on the large and imposing scale, which adds to the image’s impact when being viewed. Portraits of his father have become a celebrated recurrence within the artist’s oeuvre, each honouring his life in different ways. By getting rid of any form of background, the artist draws all attention to the subject, preserving an intimacy within his work that is essential in his practice. The present lot encompasses the quintessential characteristics that have facilitated Yan’s successful artistic career, leading critics and scholars to refer to the artist as the ‘master of brushwork’.

144

Double (Artist's Father)

2007
watercolour on paper
152.4 x 275.9 cm. (60 x 108 5/8 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'Double (Artist's Father), 27 Mars 2007, Yan Pei-Ming' on the reverse.

Estimate
£30,000 - 50,000 ‡ ♠

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
[email protected]
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London 17 October 2013