Zhou Chunya - Contemporary Art Part II New York Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai

  • Catalogue Essay

    Zhou’s most recent sequence of paintings, entitled the Green Dog Series, comprise large canvases...in which a monstrous German shepherd, painted green, rises up on his hind legs to dominate a grayish-brown landscape populated by rough, quick sketches of figures. The series is autobiographical in origin-Zhou had a German shepherd as a pet until fairly recently, when the animal died, and he inserts himself, often in erotic embrace, into the scenarios he paints around the green dog. The impression one gets, on viewing the works, is very much that of a Western artist commenting on his life and loves-under the watchful eye of a huge dog, who becomes a tremendous sign. By far the most powerful impact in these paintings is made by the green dog, whom Zhou describes as follows: Green Dog is a symbol, an emblem…The color green is quiet, romantic, and lyric, and it contains in it the tranquility right before an explosion. In conversation, Zhou asserts that for the Chinese, the most important question is relations among people; the Green Dog paintings allow him to comment on such relationships. It seems clear that the green dog functions as a symbolic projection of the artist himself-in the form of a more than slightly menacing, more than slightly humorous outpouring of energy and belligerence which has taken the shape of an animal. The German shepherd’s essentially aggressive nature is very much part of the image; in each painting, the dog’s mouth is always fully open, revealing a pair of formidable canine teeth in his lower jaw. While Zhou has made it clear, more than once, that if the form of his art is Western, the content is Chinese, in these works he appears to have moved into an internationalized idiom which emphasizes the individual over his or her affiliations with an originating culture. For the Westerner, it is hard to remark a specifically Chinese content in this group of works; the only clue to Zhou’s background as a Chinese artist is found in the people portrayed to the side of the dog: their features are almost always Chinese. J. Goodman, “Zhou Chunya: Heading NeitherWest nor East,” taken from www.shanghartgallery.com


Green Dog No. 12

Oil on canvas.
60 x 46 3/4 in. (152.4 x 118.7 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “2004 No. 12 Zhou Chunya” lower right.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $235,000

Contemporary Art Part II

16 Nov 2007, 10am & 2pm
New York