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  • The works of Zhang Enli often take simple everyday objects and repeatedly present them in different compositions, emphasising the infinite possibilities of the language of painting. He once revealed, ‘I am fascinated by the non-normative elements hidden in ordinary objects’. In Balls, a classic still life work by Zhang Enli, each ball is constructed with strong colours and varied touches. The unique shape of each ball results from different degrees of saturation, the balls are positioned into a set of base pillars. The artist is not painting the object, but rather expressing his individualised and meticulous shaping of them, creating the possibility for us to see a more complex and multi-layered world. Through his brushstrokes, lines and shapes are transformed into each other, objects and space penetrate each other, thus giving objects a concrete sense of texture and weight. A paradoxical reflection on the surrounding environment is expressed in works of Zhang Enli: by depriving these contexts of any interpretative nature, the artist attempts to establish a new definition of things.


    Installation view, A Bunch of Balls at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 2011
    Installation view, A Bunch of Balls at Hauser & Wirth, New York, 2011


    • Provenance

      ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated '2011 Enli [in Chinese]' lower left; further signed, titled and dated '"Balls" 2011 Zhang Enli [in Chinese]' on the reverse
oil on canvas
240 x 100 cm. (94 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2011.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$2,898,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 4 December 2020