I decided since there have been record breaking auction totals that boosted one sale to more than three times its estimate, I decided to bring you what all the fuss is about! This blog post is on one of the blue chip artists, ZENG FANZI. Because the asian art market has been considered anemic at best,
and the downfall of the stock market and the economy, it is a wonder that these prices were fetched. I love these works and find the asian art market so interesting! I had the pleasure of seeing ZENG’S work at an exhibit at Sotheby’s years ago and totally flipped! when you see the images I bet you will recognize some of them!
When Zeng Fanzhi was at school (1987-91), he particularly liked the work of the German Expressionist painters. In the third year of his studies, he put Soviet Realism aside and began to explore expressionistic approaches to painting. His works of this period have further echoes of another of his favorite artists, Beckman, but when it came to creating work for his degree show, the Xiehe series, Zeng Fanzhi had already established his own style and the impact of the work had won him a strong reputation in Chinese art circles.
As the series of works on the theme of hospital interiors, the image of the figures is basically true to life, but within the structure of the composition, Zeng Fanzhi pays particular attention to the psychological mood of the figures and the power of expression derived from
various brush strokes. In describing the relationship between doctor and patient, he makes allusion to the masochism and sado-masochism that exists in pockets of life. The faces of the doctors make a disturbing impression, while the patients lie nervously on their bed, silently staring.
The coolness of the pale pigments, the bloody tone of the flesh and the expressionistic brush strokes suggest a hidden danger and the aura of death. The message arising from this triptych reflects the artist’s pessimistic vision on life. This pessimism is found not only in the implied masochistic
and sado-masochistic relation between doctor and patients, but in the violence of the expressionistic brush strokes and the cold, deathly mood of the colour. This triptych laid the foundation for the bloodied sense of colour in Zeng Fanzhi’s painting, which became increasingly market,
the brush strokes ever more searing. The form of the figures became more and more disturbing, especially the expression concentrated in the eyes. The hands are marked by a size that is distinctly disproportionate to the body, each individual joint emphasized to excess. There is a pervading
sense that these figures are caught up in a fit of hysteria. Aside from all this, the allusion to fresh meat suggests a venting of frustration and anger: the act of venting, of itself, removes – kills off – the frustration