Zhang Xiaogang - Editions & Works on Paper: Online Auction New York Wednesday, September 6, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “I drew a person smiling once, but I don't think I am good at drawing people smiling. I'm better at drawing people spacing out.”
    —Zhang Xiaogang

    Perhaps those two young people are twins

    Who avoid looking at me.

    Only their functions, and therefore their fates are not the same.

    The intellectual does not wear a cap.

    Do his spectacles help him to enjoy Loyola's dual vision?

    Their black collars, barely softened with a white mark

    Endow them with an almost priestly appearance.

    They are the same and are others: one stays upright, the other oblique And the pink is vanishing from his cheeks.

    Strangely, a sex just as pink,

    Climbs up and settles all along his neck

    And points to the edges of his half-open lips.

    In parallel, from the other one's left ear there appears a Curved finger pointing to his closed mouth.

    From rose to Eros is but a step.

    Will they take it with "Don Juan"?

    • Provenance

      Property from a Private, New York Collection

    • Artist Biography

      Zhang Xiaogang

      Chinese • 1958

      Relying on memory and inspired by family portraits from the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Zhang Xiaogang creates surreal, subtle artworks that explore the notion of identity in relation to the Chinese culture of collectivism. Using a muted, greyscale palette, Xiaogang repeatedly depicts a series of unnervingly similar figures, often dressed in identical Mao suits, to create an endless genealogy of imagined forebears and progenitors. Their somber, melancholy gazes are interrupted only by thin red bloodlines intimating familial links as well as occasional pale splotches of color resembling birthmarks.

      Xiaogang investigates how to express individual histories within the strict confines of a formula. His sitters, while appearing muted and compliant, are given physical exaggerations: oversized heads, tiny hands and long noses. These distortions imply stifled emotions and give a complex psychological dimension to the artist's work.

      View More Works


Description, plate no. 20, from The Storyteller’s Enchantment

Lithograph in colors, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins, contained in the original paper folio with red text in French, Chinese and English, tipped in (as issued).
I. 30 3/4 x 39 1/2 in. (78.1 x 100.3 cm)
S. 31 1/4 x 47 in. (79.4 x 119.4 cm)

Signed and numbered 'III/CXXX' in pencil, additionally signed by the author, Fernando Arrabal and numbered in pencil on the paper folio (the edition was 130 and 4 artist's proofs in Roman numerals), published by Delight Editions, unframed.

Full Cataloguing

$2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for $1,651

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Editions & Works on Paper: Online Auction

6 - 13 September 2023