Lot 10
  • 10

Zhang Xiaogang

120,000 - 150,000 RMB
bidding is closed


  • Zhang Xiaogang
  • Untitled
  • mixed media on paper
signed in Chinese and dated 1986, framed


Private Collection, China
Poly, Beijing, 15 September, 2007, lot 2343

Catalogue Note

Zhang Xiaogang was a leadinginstigator and a participant of the'85 New Wave art movement. After graduating from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1982, he experienced what he refers to as a "dark age" of unemployment, first working as a craftsman, before he was hospitalized due to a serious illness.  1986 was an important year which ended this period of hopelessness whenZhang formed the Southwest Art Research Group with fellow artists like Mao Xuhui, Pan Dehai, and Ye Yongqing. They advocated "a non-urban pastoralism or regionalism, as well as individualistic desires that had been suppressed by collectivism." The Southwest Group was only one of the many artist groups that emerged in China in the mid-1980's, but one which garnered widespread attention in the art world following  an exhibition on New Figurative Painting" funded by the artists themselves

Like other artist groups, the Southwest Group was a loose coalition of artists who each had their own independent creative philosophies and styles. During this time, Zhang Xiaogang's painting style became highly varied. His earlier Grassland and Dream series show an increasing influence of Magritte's symbolism, which Zhang interpreted in a personal and sensitive manner. The Grassland series is characterized by a reserved linearity, but its imagery and content are deeply personal interfusions of experience and fantasy. These paper-based works from 1986 feature primitivehuman figures and animals whose occasional commingling is highly symbolic. Without a doubt, this reflects Zhang Xiaogang's understanding of Western philosophy and art. Here he combines spiritual mysticism and expressionism to create a vocabulary beyond the sensible world we know, almost as if anticipating his later emphasis on life and spirit as seen in his works  from the Endless Love series.