Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

Three Comrades
Sold
Three Comrades
Sold

Three Comrades

US
NY, US
US

About the item

Zhang Xiaogang, Three Comrades\nSigned in Chinese and dated 1994 on the reverse\nOil on canvas\n59 x 70 7/8 in. 150 x 180 cm.
US
NY, US
US

notes

Zhang Xiaogang's portraits look increasingly iconic as China moves with ever-greater prominence into global participation. But his conclusions on the great rise in prosperity feel ambivalent. Zhang's faces are inherently the same and their identical clothing, reminiscent of Mao's era, emphasize psychological or spiritual sameness. Additionally, a certain grimness is suggested by these impartial faces; the black-and-white portraits, like the gray atmosphere behind them, reveal a dull vision of the present and by implication the future. His art does not underscore identity so much as refute it; the three extremely similar faces in Family Portrait reveal nothing emotionally. They are separated from each other only by details: the face on the left wears glasses, and the face on the right has a crossed eye, while the head in the middle, slightly above the two black-and-white figures, has been painted in color. While there is no visible suffering in Family Portrait, neither is joy communicated to the viewer.

It is also hard to differentiate among the three sitters by speculating on their age, as they appear to be of the same generation. Their gender is also difficult to determine; the middle figure looks like a female, flanked by two men, but this cannot be said with certainty. They seem to come from a narrow, nearly perfect world; yet little eccentricities save them from an absolutely expressionless repose. A white patch like a birthmark appears across the upper cheek and crossed eye of the figure on the right, while the figure on the left has a similar patch across the lower right of his face. A red patch sits at the bottom of the composition—it has no formal reason for existing. The syncopated paths of the thin red bloodlines that run across the figures add a slight tension—and vitality—to an otherwise heavily controlled image. Seen alone or in the company of similar paintings, Family Portrait compellingly reminds us that individuality is hard to come by in a nation of more than a billion people, even if more than ever before have attained affluence.

--Jonathan Goodman

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Zhang Xiaogang

dimensions

59 x 70 7/8 in. 150 x 180 cm.

provenance

Acquired by the present owner directly from the artist in 1994


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Three Studies of Lucian Freud
Sold

Three Studies of Lucian Freud

Realized Price
142,405,000 USD

Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards
Sold
Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer
Sold
Three Studies of George Dyer
Sold

Three Studies of George Dyer

Realized Price
38,614,000 USD

Three Studies for Self-Portrait
Sold

Three Studies for Self-Portrait

Realized Price
28,041,000 USD

Three Studies for Self-Portrait
Sold

Three Studies for Self-Portrait

Realized Price
25,282,500 USD

Three Studies for Self-Portrait
Sold

Three Studies for Self-Portrait

Realized Price
23,078,421 USD

Three Self-Portraits
Sold

Three Self-Portraits

Realized Price
22,751,666 USD

Three Studies for a Self-Portrait
Sold

Three Studies for a Self-Portrait

Realized Price
21,811,581 USD

Three Studies for a Self-Portrait
Sold

Three Studies for a Self-Portrait

Realized Price
19,682,500 USD