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Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964)
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Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964)
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About the item

Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964)\nThe Tiger\noil on canvas\n94 7/8 x 137 5/8 in. (241 x 350 cm.)\nPainted in 2011.
US
NY, US
US

notes

This lot was not consigned by CCF Community Initiatives Fund to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Rather this lot was consigned by a seperate consignor who will be donating the entirety of the sale proceeds to CCF Community Initiatives on behalf of The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. A buyer who purchases this lot wil not be eligible for any charitable contribution deduction in relation to such purchase.

One of the most celebrated of contemporary Chinese artists, Zeng Fanzhi has set out on a new frontier in his paintings of personal introspection and emotion, fully revealed in his rendering of The Tiger, 2011. Zeng paints at the pinnacle of a quickly developing art world, challenging himself with each changing tide of his modern environment and the resulting emotions. This, in turn, challenges his audience to react and take part in his artistic dialogue. Zeng has always been strongly influenced by both his emotional and physical surroundings as well as observations of human interaction with the environment. His newest Landscape series, dark and haunting, serves to highlight the figure's vulnerability and frailty of his material existence, a universal connection that allows Zeng to better relate to his viewers. In these recent works, Zeng has eliminated the human figure entirely, featuring solitary animal figures, brooding, mysterious, and spiritual. In the present work, The Tiger Zeng captures the image of a solitary tiger ensnarled in a threatening and violent thicket of branches.

Zeng Fanzhi grew up during the Cultural Revolution and studied at the Hubei Academy of Fine Art.

There, he developed an interest in German Expressionism, which is reflected by many of his works and series throughout his lifetime and into the present. Throughout the political and ideological changes in China, Zeng has maintained a strong personal tone of introspection and private sentiments, feelings shared by humanity at large yet not always so freely and publicly pronounced. He paints with a focus on life at present, encompassed by the modern moment within society and the universe at large, thereby relating to the mindset, experience, and spirituality of his own generation.

In 2008, Zeng introduced animals into his landscapes, signifying all life in relation to nature. Often an endangered species, the animal further symbolizes a feeling of threatened survival, much like humankind's hardships, helplessness, and isolation in the world of nature. In The Tiger, the insurmountable, hostile landscape overtakes the figure, as the tiger's apprehensive eyes pierce the calligraphic lines of the tangled branches. Zeng projects his internalized anxiety and repressed emotion through the haunted landscape, sounding from the tiger's snarl and emanating from the unnerving light. It is as though the animal is a potential threat but also the viewer's spiritual guide through the menacing terrain.The Tiger confronts the audience with a brooding and eerily human expression that is simultaneously haunting yet inviting in its familiarity. The Tiger represents a mature moment in Zeng's career, thoroughly transcending his previous creative phases and permitting an artistic and universal vocabulary to merge all of his work into one continuous conversation. He maintains a dialogue with the past while using tools from the modern present along with his personal style and private emotions in order to reach a universal audience. Zeng's landscape of human experience and his capacity to evoke the sentiments of his viewers as well as a care for an awareness of the environment is unmatched in contemporary art.

title

Zeng Fanzhi (b. 1964)

medium

Oil on canvas

keywords

2000s, Paintings, China, Contemporary

department

POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART

dimensions

94 7/8 x 137 5/8 in. (241 x 350 cm.)

provenance

Gift of Pinault Collection


*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.


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