Opening reception: September 24, 2011

Video by Nick Foxall

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Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, September 24th, from 5 to 8 pm

Every mark articulates, every mark masks.
—Zeng Fanzhi

Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to present a major exhibition by Zeng Fanzhi that traces his wide-ranging depictions of the human figure in key paintings from the last twenty years. This is his first exhibition with the gallery.

Zeng’s aesthetic restlessness epitomizes the evolution of Chinese contemporary art in the post-1989 era, grappling with local history and tradition in the face of external influence and accelerated change. Since the beginning of his career, he has presented a succession of powerfully introspective subjects, from the haunting Hospital paintings to the livid Meat paintings that juxtapose human subjects with butchered flesh; from the cryptic Mask paintings to starting, close-up portraits; from intimate, existential still lifes such as Boots (2009) to depictions of pivotal Western cultural figures such as Francis Bacon, whose psychic portraits altered the status of the human figure in twentieth century art.

In Zeng’s highly tactile paintings, the details of representation often overlap seamlessly with qualities of abstraction, like certain traditional Chinese aesthetic objects. All are expressionistically rendered with extraordinary attention to the material nuances of the painted surface. Charged with an underlying psychological tension, his oeuvre reveals the place of the unconscious and aberrant in the construction of human experience, reflecting on the external pressures in a rapidly changing society and the constant negotiation of personal identity within such societal flux.

Zeng Fanzhi was born in Wuhan, China in 1964. He lives and works in Beijing. He has had solo exhibitions at Singapore Art Museum (2007), Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne de Metropole, Saint-Etienne (2007), Fundacion Godia, Barcelona, (2009), National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia (2010) and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2010). He has also participated in numerous international group exhibitions including the first Guangzhou Triennale in 2002 and the 53rd Biennale di Venezia in 2009. Currently his paintings can be seen in “I mondo vi appartiene” at François Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, Venice through December 2011.

For further information please contact the gallery at [email protected] or at +852.2151.0555.