Zeng Fanzhi, ‘Untitled 无题’, 2009, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

曾梵志 无题

Image rights: Photo: courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013-14

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Thomas Yaping Ou, 2011 (2011.378a, b)

About Zeng Fanzhi

Zeng Fanzhi achieved recognition in the 1990s for his "Hospital" and "Meat" paintings, both rendered in the artist's signature fleshy red tones. In pairing men with butchered slabs of meat, the works from the Meat series pointed to Zeng's ongoing concern with modernity's problematic history (he grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution) and the isolation and instability of contemporary life in general. Later portraits of subjects like Francis Bacon and Stalin or the "Mask" paintings of well-dressed urbanites hiding behind masks further intensified this sense of alienation. Influenced by German Expressionism, Zeng commonly renders figures with large heads and exaggerated features in bold brushstrokes; Chinese traditional art and calligraphy are recent references.

Chinese, b. 1964, Wuhan, China, based in Beijing, China