561
561

THE MILLENNIUM STORY: CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Wang Xingwei
UNTITLED (SMALL BEGGING)
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 750,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
561

THE MILLENNIUM STORY: CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Wang Xingwei
UNTITLED (SMALL BEGGING)
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 750,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art

|
Hong Kong

Wang Xingwei
B.1969
UNTITLED (SMALL BEGGING)
initialed in Pinyin and dated 2007 on the reverse

Executed in 2007-2008
Oil on canvas
135.3 by 163.1 cm; 53¼ by 64¼ in.
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Provenance

Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne
Acquired from the above by the present owner

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Galerie Urs Meile and signed by the artist

Exhibited

Beijing, Li Gallery, Labyrinth III — Dangerous Liaisons, September 2009 - February 2010

Literature

Wang Xingwei, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2013, p. 130, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

Wang Xingwei’s artworks are multifaceted, and he continuously experiments with the medium of painting. In a creative career spanning more than twenty years, he has made more transformations in form and grammar than can be easily apprehended. Wang draws broadly on art history and impartially appropriates artistic vocabularies and techniques. He weaves history, society, and daily life into his paintings while also incorporating humour and experiments in painting language and method.

His style has sometimes reminded people of Martin Kippenberger’s “bad painting”: it is at times extremely surrealistic, at times supremely vulgar. Wang moves freely between different idioms of painting, and has never settled on one. His work emphasises form and its unlimited permutations; his creative incision point is form itself, not what it signifies. In his own words, “All paintings are alike. The subject matter is not significant.”

Thus we see that Untitled is indeed an extremely important and special work from this artist’s career. The painting was created in 2007-2008, and it is the last work Wang completed before relocating from Shanghai to Beijing. Untitled is undoubtedly a commentary on the highly commercialised metropolis of Shanghai. The background of the tableau appears to be a light-box that spells out the characters 广告 (“advertisement”). The foreground features two paper-cut silhouettes: on the right, a beggar on his knees, and on the left, a benefactor with a briefcase. In front of the formidable background formed by the “advertisement” light-box, the two silhouettes encapsulate the indifference and ruthlessness of the city. “If someone gives him money, he will keep on kneeling, like a statue, as if his soul is not present there but instead immersed in some distant place”, the artist said, recalling his original inspiration for this painting.

Contemporary Art

|
Hong Kong