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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from artist by the previous owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Zeng Fanzhi’s success is closely related to his mature expressionistic style and attention to the themes of death. In this series of work, the language of the canvas is direct and the sense of momentum and unique attention of a young life toward death, sickness and pain won him a fine reputation.
     
    Following a brief transition period, the mask becomes the most significant symbol in Zeng Fanzhi’s works. The brightly adorned and pose-striking characters evoke the description of the Beijing. Worthy of note is that Zeng Fanzhi seems to have deliberately repressed those methods of expressionism that he can easily master – he has made only limited use of them in the hands and face. At the same time, lines began to have the same molding effect of brush strokes. The mask series became simple and complicated and details vanished to be replaced with smooth backdrops and strange bright spots.” (Pi Li, Behind the Mask, ShanghArt Gallery p.3)
     
    In the present lot, the bright white mask has came off his face, instead, it is an intensely puzzled facial expression, a gaze that looks into far ground, a pose that strikes more thoughts. The brush works is more expressive in his face and the large hand, where emotions are concentrated. “Removing the masks indicates only a willingness to face the void, not a conquring of it. Now that the masks are off, the frail egos exposed seem lost and uncertain.” (Britta Erickson, Behind the Mask, ShanghArt Gallery p.6)

119

Mask

1996
Oil on canvas.
54 x 44 cm. (21 1/4 x 17 1/4 in).
Signed and dated [in Chinese] lower right.  

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm
London