Lot 36
  • 36

Xu Jianguo

180,000 - 280,000 RMB
bidding is closed


  • Xu Jianguo
  • Reconstructing New Shanghai (ink version 1)
  • signed DADIAOZI, titled, inscribed, dated 2015, and with three seals of the artist
    colophon: signed DADIAOZI, titled, inscribed, dated 2015, and with one seal of the artist
    titleslip: signed DADIAOZI, titled, inscribed, and dated 2015
    executed 2012 / 2015
  • ink on paper, hanging scroll


Acquired directly from the artist
Private American Collection


China, Beijing, The National Museum of China, Beyond Contemporary: The 50 years' Artistic Vision of Jian Guo Xu, 19-29 October, 2013

Catalogue Note

The birth of the “City as Landscape” style has its origins in the clear yet poetic landscape paintings of the Song dynasty, but is itself a revitalization and reinvention of a classical genre. Its artistic philosophy is a redefinition of the contemporary city as a form of new “nature”, and challenges the viewer to find values of past in today’s frantic urban life. In Xu Jianguo’s paintings, skyscrapers tower like mountains and highways flow like rivers. Despite their concrete and steel nature, the artist infuses these urban mountains and rivers with a serene elegance and humanity that belies their harsh nature. This is no simple substitution of buildings for nature, because to achieve this feeling on a visual image requires the artist to enter a state of peace and serenity, and in a mood of gentleness and gracefulness, view the fetishism and materialism modern cities with a calm and graceful brush. Through his “City as Landscape” style, Xu Jianguo hopes to breathe new life to fundamental values of traditional Chinese culture and make them relevant in a tactile and visual way to both artists and viewers.

Having trained in classical Chinese painting and calligraphy from a young age, Xu Xianguo graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1976 and later moved to New York, where he attained his M.F.A. from Bard College in 1987. Xu’s imagination and reconstruction of urban landscapes can be seen in his past five decades of ink painting, including the recent Beyond Contemporary: The 50 years’ Artistic Vision of Jian Guo Xu at The National Museum of China, Beijing in 2013. Xu’s works are collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and numerous private museums and collectors in Europe, Asia and America.